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Title: American Journal of Science, Vol. 1.
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  This book contains the first four issues of the Journal, each with
  its own Table of Contents:
    Vol. 1 No. 1        Pages 1 through 104
    Vol. 1 No. 2            105 through 208
    Vol. 1 No. 3            209 through 316
    Vol. 1 No. 4            317 through 442

  In issue No. 2, the incorrect numbering of Articles in the text has
  been left unchanged. The Table of Contents for this issue is correct.
  This error is noted in an Addendum, Footnote [16], by the publisher.

  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  More detail can be found at the end of the book.













  Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, &c. in Yale College; Author of
  Travels in England, Scotland, and Holland, &c.; and Member of various
  Literary and Scientific Societies.

  VOL. I.




  Sold by Ezekiel Goodall, Hallowell, Maine; Daniel Stone, Brunswick,
  Maine; Cummings & Hilliard, and Wells & Lilly, Boston; Simeon
  Butler, Northampton; Samuel G. Goodrich, Hartford; Clark & Lyman,
  Middletown; Russell Hubbard, Norwich; O. &. L. Goodwin, Litchfield;
  W. E. Norman, Hudson; William Williams, Utica; E. F. Backus,
  Albany; S. Potter, Philadelphia; E. J. Coale, Baltimore; W. H.
  Fitzwhylsonn, Richmond; W. F. Gray, Fredericksburgh; Caleb Atwater,
  Circleville; William Poundsford, and James Collord, Cincinnati;
  John Guirey, Columbia, S. C.; W. T. Williams, Savannah; Henry
  Wills, Edenton; John Mill, Charleston; Samuel S. Spencer, and John
  Menefee, Natchez; Benjamin Hanna, New-Orleans.




In the following plan of this Work, we trust it will be
understood, that we do not pledge ourselves that all the subjects
mentioned shall be touched upon _in every Number_. This is
plainly impossible, unless every article should be very short and
imperfect. All that the Public are entitled to expect is, that in
the progress of the Journal, the various subjects mentioned may
occupy such an extent as our communications and resources shall

We have been honoured by such a list of names of gentlemen who are
willing to be considered as contributors to this Journal, that the
publication of it would afford us no ordinary gratification, did we
not feel that it is more decorous to allow their names to appear
with their communications, without laying them under a previous
pledge to the Public.


This Journal is intended to embrace the circle of THE PHYSICAL
SCIENCES, with their application to THE ARTS, and to every useful

It is designed as a deposit for _original American communications_;
it will contain also occasional selections from Foreign Journals,
and notices of the progress of Science in other countries. Within
its plan are embraced

NATURAL HISTORY, in its three great departments of MINERALOGY,

CHEMISTRY and NATURAL PHILOSOPHY, and their various branches: and
MATHEMATICS, pure and mixed.

It will be a leading object to illustrate AMERICAN NATURAL HISTORY,
and especially our MINERALOGY and GEOLOGY.

The APPLICATIONS of these sciences are obviously as numerous as
_physical arts_, and _physical wants_; for no one of these arts or
wants can be named which is not connected with them.

While SCIENCE will be cherished _for its own sake_, and with
a due respect for its own _inherent_ dignity; it will also be
employed as the _hand-maid to the Arts_. Its numerous applications
to AGRICULTURE, the earliest and most important of them: to
MANUFACTURES, both mechanical and chemical; and, to DOMESTIC
ECONOMY, will be carefully sought out, and faithfully made.

It is within the design of this Journal to receive communications
likewise on MUSIC, SCULPTURE, ENGRAVING, PAINTING, and generally on
the fine and liberal, as well as useful arts;

On Military and Civil Engineering, and the art of Navigation;

Notices, Reviews, and Analyses of new scientific works; accounts of
Inventions, and Specifications of Patents;

Biographical and Obituary Notices of scientific men; essays on
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY and PHYSIOLOGY, and generally on such other
branches of medicine as depend on scientific principles;

Meteorological Registers, and Reports of Agricultural Experiments:
and interesting Miscellaneous Articles, not perhaps exactly
included under either of the above heads.

Communications are respectfully solicited from men of science, and
_from men versed in the practical arts_.

Learned Societies are invited to make this Journal, occasionally,
the vehicle of their communications to the Public.

The Editor will not hold himself responsible for the sentiments and
opinions advanced by his correspondents: he will consider it as an
allowed liberty to make slight _verbal alterations_, where errors
may be presumed to have arisen from inadvertency.



  INTRODUCTORY Remarks                                           1

  Art. I. Essay on Musical Temperament, by Professor
  Alex. M. Fisher                                                9


  Art. II. Review of Cleaveland's Mineralogy                    35

  Art. III. New Locality of Fluor Spar, &c.                     52

  Art. IV. Carbonat of Magnesia, &c. discovered by J.
  Pierce, Esq.                                                  54

  Art. V. Native Copper, near New-Haven                         55

  Art. VI. Petrified Wood from Antigua                          56

  Art. VII. American Porcelain Clays, &c.                       57

  Art. VIII. Native Sulphur from Java                           58

  Art. IX. Productions of Wier's Cave, in Virginia              59

  Art. X. Mineralogy and Geology of part of Virginia and
  Tennessee, by Mr. J. H. Kain                                  60

  Art. XI. Notice of Professor Mitchill's edition of Cuvier's
  Geology                                                       68

  Art. XII. Notice of Eaton's Index to the Geology of the
  Northern States, &c.                                          69

  Art. XIII. Notice of M. Brongniart on Organized Remains       71


  Art. XIV. Observations on a species of Limosella, by
  Professor E. Ives                                             74

  Art. XV. Notice of Professor Bigelow's Memoir on the
  Floral Calendar of the United States, &c.                     76

  Art. XVI. Journal of the Progress of Vegetation, &c.
  by C. S. Rafinesque, Esq.                                     77


  Art. XVII. Description of a new Species of Marten, by
  C. S. Rafinesque, Esq.                                        82

  Art. XVIII. Natural History of the Copper-Head Snake,
  by the same                                                   84


  Art. XIX. On a Method of augmenting the Force of
  Gunpowder, by Colonel G. Gibbs                                87

  Art. XX. On the connexion between Magnetism and
  Light, by the same                                            89

  Art. XXI. On a new means of Producing Heat and
  Light, by J. L. Sullivan, Esq.                                91

  Art. XXII. On the Effects of the Earthquakes of 1811,
  1812, on the Wells in Columbia, South
  Carolina, by Professor Edward D. Smith                        93

  Art. XXIII. On the Respiration of Oxygen Gas in an
  Affection of the Thorax                                       95


  Art. XXIV. On the Priority of Discovery of the Compound
  Blowpipe, and its Effects                                     97

  Art. XXV. On the Northwest Passage, the North Pole,
  and the Greenland Ice                                        101





The age in which we live is not less distinguished by a vigorous
and successful cultivation of physical science, than by its
numerous and important applications to the practical arts, and to
the common purposes of life.

In every enlightened country, men illustrious for talent, worth,
and knowledge, are ardently engaged in enlarging the boundaries of
natural science; and the history of their labours and discoveries
is communicated to the world chiefly through the medium of
Scientific Journals. The utility of such Journals has thus become
generally evident; they are the heralds of science; they proclaim
its toils and its achievements; they demonstrate its intimate
connexion as well with the comfort, as with the intellectual and
moral improvement of our species; and they often procure for it
enviable honours and substantial rewards.

In England the interests of science have been, for a series of
years, greatly promoted by the excellent Journals of Tilloch and
Nicholson; and for the loss of the latter, the scientific world has
been fully compensated by Dr. Thomson's Annals of Philosophy, and
by the Journal of Science and the Arts, both published in London.

In France, the Annales de Chimie et de Physique, the Journal des
Mines, the Journal de Physique, &c. have long enjoyed a high and
deserved reputation. Indeed, there are few countries in Europe
which do not produce some similar publication; not to mention the
transactions of learned societies and numerous medical Journals.

From these sources _our_ country reaps, and will long continue
to reap, an abundant harvest of information: and if the light of
science, as well as of day, springs from the east, we will welcome
the rays of both; nor should national pride induce us to reject so
rich an offering.

But can we do nothing in return? In a general diffusion of
useful information through the various classes of society, in
activity of intellect, and fertility of resource and invention,
characterizing a highly intelligent population, we have no reason
to shrink from a comparison with any country. But the devoted
cultivators of _science_, in the United States, are comparatively
few; they are, however, rapidly increasing in number. Among them
are persons distinguished for their capacity and attainments,
and notwithstanding the local feelings nourished by our state
sovereignties, and the rival claims of several of our larger
cities, there is evidently a predisposition towards a concentration
of effort, from which we may hope for the happiest results, with
regard to the advancement of both the science and the reputation of
our country.

Is it not, therefore, desirable to furnish some rallying point,
some object sufficiently interesting to be compassed by common
efforts, and thus to become the basis of an enduring, common
interest? To produce these efforts, and to excite this interest,
nothing, perhaps, bids fairer than a SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL. Hitherto
nearly all our exertions, of this kind, have been made by medical
gentlemen, and directed primarily to medical objects. We are
neither ignorant nor forgetful of the merits of our various MEDICAL
JOURNALS, nor of the zeal with which, as far as consistent with
their main object, they have fostered the physical sciences. We are
aware, also, that Journals have been established, _professedly_
deriving their materials principally from foreign sources; that our
various literary Magazines and Reviews have given, and continue to
give, some notices of physical and mathematical subjects, and that
some of them seem even partial to these branches of knowledge: that
various limited efforts have been made, and are still making, to
publish occasional or periodical papers, devoted to mathematical or
physical subjects, and that even our newspapers sometimes contain
scientific intelligence. We are aware, also, that some of our
academies and societies of natural history, either in Journals of
their own, or through the medium of existing magazines, communicate
to the public the efforts of their members in various branches of
natural science.

But all these facts go only to prove the strong tendency which
exists in this country towards the cultivation of physical science,
and the inadequacy of the existing means for its effectual

Although our limits do not permit us, however much inclined, to be
more particular in commemorating the labours and in honouring the
performances (often marked by much ability) of our predecessors and
cotemporaries, there is one effort which we are not willing to pass
by without a more particular notice; and we are persuaded that no
apology is necessary for naming the Journal of the late Dr. Bruce,
of New-York, devoted principally to mineralogy and geology.

No future historian of American science will fail to commemorate
this work as our earliest _purely scientific_ Journal, supported by
_original American communications_.

Both in this country and in Europe, it was received in a very
flattering manner; it excited, _at home_, great zeal and effort
in support of the sciences which it fostered, and, _abroad_, it
was hailed as the harbinger of our future exertions. The editor
was honoured with letters on the subject of his Journal, and with
applications for it from most of the countries in Europe; but
its friends had to regret that, although conducted in a manner
perfectly to their satisfaction, it appeared only at distant
intervals, and, after the lapse of several years, never proceeded
beyond the fourth number.

The hopes of its revival have now, unhappily, become completely
extinct, by the lamented death of Dr. Bruce.[1]

This gentleman, with an accomplished education, with extensive
acquirements in science, and great zeal for promoting it in his
own country; advantageously and extensively known in Europe, and
furnished with a correct and discriminating mind, and a chaste,
scientific taste, was so well qualified for the task which he had
undertaken, that no one can attempt to resume those scientific
labours which he has now _for ever_ relinquished, without realizing
that he undertakes an arduous enterprise, and lays himself under a
heavy responsibility. American science has much to lament in the
death of Dr. Bruce.

No one, it is presumed, will doubt that a Journal devoted to
science, and embracing a sphere sufficiently extensive to allure
to its support the principal scientific men of our country, is
greatly needed; if cordially supported, it will be successful, and
if successful, it will be a great public benefit.

Even a failure, in so good a cause, (unless it should arise from
incapacity or unfaithfulness,) cannot be regarded as dishonourable.
It may prove only that the attempt was _premature_, and that our
country is not yet ripe for such an undertaking; for _without the
efficient support of talent, knowledge_, and _money, it cannot
long proceed_. No editor can hope to carry forward such a work
without the active aid of scientific and practical men; but, at
the same time, the public have a right to expect that he will not
be sparing of his own labour, and that his work shall be generally
marked by the impress of his own hand. To this extent the editor
cheerfully acknowledges his obligations to the public; and it will
be his endeavour faithfully to redeem his pledge.

Most of the periodical works of our country have been short-lived.
_This_, also, _may_ perish in its infancy; and if any degree
of confidence is cherished, that it will attain a maturer age,
it is derived from the obvious and intrinsic importance of the
undertaking; from its being built upon permanent and momentous
national interests; from the evidence of a decided approbation of
the design, on the part of men of the first eminence, obtained in
the progress of an extensive correspondence; from assurances of
support, in the way of contributions, from men of ability in many
parts of the union; and from the existence of _such a crisis_ in
the affairs of this country and of the world, as appears peculiarly
auspicious to the success of every wise and good undertaking.

As regards the subjects of this work, it is in our power to do
much in the department of the natural history of this country. Our
Zoology has been more fully investigated than our mineralogy and
botany; but neither department is in danger of being exhausted. The
interesting travels of Lewis and Clark have recently brought to
our knowledge several plants and animals before unknown. Foreign
naturalists frequently explore our territory; and, for the most
part, convey to Europe the fruits of their researches, while but
a small part of our own productions is examined and described by
Americans: certainly, this is little to our credit, and still less
to our advantage. Honourable exceptions to the truth of this remark
are furnished by the exertions of some gentlemen in our principal
cities, and in various other parts of the Union.[2]

Our botany, it is true, has been extensively and successfully
investigated; but this field is still _rich_, and rewards every
new research with some interesting discovery. Our mineralogy,
however, is a treasure but just opened. That both science and
art may expect much advantage from this source, is sufficiently
evinced by the success which has crowned the active efforts of a
few ardent cultivators of this science: several new species of
minerals have been added to it in this country; great numbers of
American localities discovered, and interesting additions made to
our materials, for the useful and ornamental arts. The science
of mineralogy is now illustrated by courses of lectures, and by
several good cabinets in the different states. Among the cabinets,
the splendid collection of Colonel Gibbs, now in Yale College,
(a munificent DEPOSIT for the benefit of his country,) _stands
pre-eminent_: it would be considered as a very noble cabinet in
any part of Europe: and its introduction into the United States,
and its _gratuitous_ dedication to the promotion of science, are
equally advantageous to the community, and honourable to its
patriotic and enlightened proprietor. Mineralogy is most intimately
connected with our arts, and especially with our agriculture.

Such are the disguises worn by many most useful mineral substances,
that an unskilful observer is liable to pass a thing by, as
worthless, which, if better informed, he would seize with avidity;
and, still more frequently, a worthless substance, clothed
perhaps in a brilliant and attractive exterior, excites hopes
altogether delusive, and induces expense, without a possibility of
remuneration. A diffusion of correct knowledge on this subject is
the only adequate remedy for either evil.

Our geology, also, presents a most interesting field of inquiry.
A grand outline has recently been drawn by Mr. Maclure, with a
masterly hand, and with a vast extent of personal observation and
labour: but to fill up the detail, both observation and labour
still more extensive are demanded; nor can the object be effected,
till more good geologists are formed, and distributed over our
extensive territory.

To account for the formation and changes of our globe, by
excursions of the imagination, often splendid and imposing, but
usually visionary, and almost always baseless, was, till within
half a century, the business of geological speculations; but this
research has now assumed a more sober character; the science of
geology has been reared upon numerous and accurate observations
of _facts_; and standing thus upon the basis of induction, it
is entitled to a rank among those sciences which Lord Bacon's
Philosophy has contributed to create. Geological researches are now
prosecuted, by actually exploring the structure and arrangement of
districts, countries, and continents. The obliquity of the strata
of most rocks, causing their edges to project in many places above
the surface; their exposure in other instances, on the sides or
tops of hills and mountains; or, in consequence of the intersection
of their strata, by roads, canals, and river-courses, or by the
wearing of the ocean; or their direct perforation, by the shafts
of mines; all these causes, and others, afford extensive means of
reading the interior structure of the globe.

The outlines of American geology appear to be particularly grand,
simple, and instructive; and a knowledge of the important facts,
and general principles of this science, is of vast practical use,
as regards the interests of agriculture, and the research for
useful minerals. Geological and mineralogical descriptions, and
maps of particular states and districts, are very much needed in
the United States; and to excite a spirit to furnish them will form
one leading object of this journal.

The science of natural philosophy, with its powerful auxiliary,
mathematics, and the science of chemistry, the twin sister of
natural philosophy, are of incalculable importance to this country.
A volume would not suffice to trace their applications, and to
enumerate the instances of their utility.

As one which may be allowed to stand, _instar omnium_, we may
mention the steam engine; that legitimate child of physical and
chemical science--at once more powerful than the united force
of the strongest and largest animals, and more manageable than
the smallest and gentlest; raising from the bowels of the earth
the massy treasures of its mines, drawing up rivers from their
channels, and pouring them, in streams of life, into the bosom of
cities; and, above all, propelling against the currents, the winds,
and the waves of the ocean, those stupendous vessels, which combine
speed with certainty, and establish upon the bosom of the deep the
luxuries and accommodations of the land.

The successful execution of this magnificent design was first
witnessed upon the waters of the Hudson, but is now imitated in
almost every civilized country; and it remains to be seen whether
they will emulate us by transporting, by the same means, and
against the same obstacles, the most formidable trains of artillery.

The mechanical inventions of this country are numerous; many of
them are ingenious, and some are highly important. In no way can
a knowledge of them be so readily and extensively diffused as in
a scientific journal. To this object, therefore, a part of our
labours (should there be a call for it,) will be devoted, and every
necessary aid will be given by plates and descriptions.

Science and art mutually assist each other; the arts furnish facts
and materials to science, and science illuminates the path of the

The science of mathematics, both pure and mixed, can never cease
to be interesting and important to man, as long as the relations
of quantity shall exist, as long as ships shall traverse the
ocean, as long as man shall measure the surface or heights of the
earth on which he lives, or calculate the distances and examine
the relations of the planets and stars; and as long as the _iron
reign of war_ shall demand the discharge of projectiles, or the
construction of complicated defences.

In a word, the whole circle of physical science is directly
applicable to human wants, and constantly holds out a light to the
practical arts; it thus polishes and benefits society, and every
where demonstrates both supreme intelligence, and harmony and
beneficence of design in THE CREATOR.

ART. I. _Essay on Musical Temperament._[3]

By Professor FISHER, of Yale College.

It is well known to those who have attended to the subject of
musical ratios, that a fixed scale of eight degrees to the octave,
which shall render all its concords perfect, is impossible. It
has been demonstrated by Dr. Smith, from an investigation of all
the positions which the major, the minor, and the half-tone can
assume, that the most perfect scales possible, of which there are
two equally so, differing only in the position of the major and the
minor tone above the key note, must have one Vth and one 3d too
flat, and consequently the supplementary 4th and VIth too sharp,
by a comma. In vocal music, and in that of perfect instruments,
this defect in the scale is not perceived, because a small change
may be made in the key, whenever the occurrence of either of those
naturally imperfect intervals renders such a change necessary
to perfect harmony. But in instruments with fixed scales, such
as the guitar, the piano-forte, and the organ, if we begin with
tuning as many concords as possible perfect, the resulting chords
above-mentioned will be necessarily false in an offensive degree.
Hence it is an important problem in practical harmonics, to
distribute these imperfections in the scale among the different
chords, in such a manner as to occasion the least possible injury
to harmony.

But this is not the only nor the principal difficulty which
the tuner of imperfect instruments has to encounter. In order
that these instruments may form a proper accompaniment for the
voice, and be used in conjunction with perfect instruments, it is
necessary that music should be capable of being executed on them,
in all the different keys in common use; and especially that they
should be capable of those occasional modulations which often occur
in the course of the same piece. Now only five additional sounds
to the octave are usually inserted for this purpose, between those
of the natural scale, which, of course, furnish it with only three
sharps and two flats. Hence, when a greater number of flats or
sharps is introduced, the music can be executed only by striking,
in the former case, the sharp of the note next below; and, in
the latter, the flat of the note next above. But as the diatonic
semitone is more than half the major, and much more than half the
minor tone, if the additional sounds in the common artificial
scale be made perfect for one of the above employments, they must
be extremely harsh for the other. Hence arises the necessity of
adjusting the position of these five inserted sounds so that they
may make tolerable harmony, whichever way employed. A change in
these will require corresponding changes in the position of the
several degrees of the natural scale; so that it is highly probable
that the best scheme of temperament will leave no concord, either
of the natural or artificial scale, absolutely perfect.

In adjusting the imperfections of the scale, the three following
considerations have been usually taken into view.

I. One object to be aimed at is, to make the sum of the
temperaments of all the concords the least possible. Since
experience teaches us that the harshness of a given concord
increases with its temperament, it is obvious that of two systems
which agree in other respects, the best is that in which the sum of
the temperaments is least.

II. When other things are equal, the best adjustment of the
imperfections of the scale is that which diminishes the
harmoniousness of all the different concords proportionally. The
succession of a worse to a better harmony, is justly regarded
by several of the best writers on this subject, as one of the
principal causes of offence to the ear, in instruments imperfectly

III. When different chords of the same kind are of unequally
frequent occurrence, there is an advantage, _cæteris paribus_, in
giving the greatest temperament to that which occurs most seldom.
This important consideration has indeed been neglected by Dr.
Smith, in the systems which he recommends, both for his changeable
and the common fixed scale; as it is, also, by the numerous
advocates of the system of equal semitones. But many authors on
temperament, and most instrument-makers, pay a vague regard to it.
Their aim has been, although in a loose and conjectural manner,
to make the prominent chords of the simplest keys the nearest to
perfection, whilst a greater temperament is thrown upon those
which occur only in the more complex keys. Thus Dr. Young, in
the Philos. Trans. for 1800, recommends a scheme which increases
the temperament of the IIIds, on the key note of the successive
keys, as we modulate by fifths from C, nearly in arithmetical
progression. Earl Stanhope assigns as a reason for the small
temperament which is given to several of the IIIds in his system,
that they are on the tonic of the simpler keys. The irregularities
in Mr. Hawkes's scheme may be traced to the same cause. And, with
the instrument-makers, it is a favourite maxim to lay the wolf, as
they term it, where it will be most seldom heard.

But if the above consideration deserves any weight at all, it
deserves to be accurately investigated. Not only ought the relative
frequency of different chords to be ascertained with the greatest
accuracy, of which the nature of the subject is susceptible, but
the degree of weight which this consideration ought to have, when
compared with the two others above-mentioned, should be determined:
for it is plain that neither of them ought to be ever left out of

Accordingly, the principal design of the following propositions
will be to investigate the actual frequency of occurrence of
different chords in practice; and from this and the two other
above-mentioned considerations united, to deduce the best system of
temperament for a scale, containing any given number of sounds to
the octave, and particularly for the common Douzeave, or scale of
twelve degrees.


  All consonances may be regarded, without any sensible error in
  practice, as equally harmonious in their kinds, when equally
  tempered; and when unequally tempered, within certain limits, as
  having their harmoniousness diminished in the direct ratio of
  their temperaments.

As different consonances, when perfect, are not pleasing to the
ear in an equal degree, some approaching nearer to the nature of
discords than others, so a set of tempered consonances, _cæteris
paribus_, will be best constituted when their harmoniousness
is diminished _proportionally_. Suppose, for example, that the
agreeable effects of the Vth, IIId, and 3d, when perfect, are as
any unequal numbers, _a_, _b_, and _c_; the best arrangement of a
tempered scale, other things being equal, would be, not that in
which the agreeable effect of the Vth was reduced to an absolute
level with that of the IIId, or 3d, but when they were so tempered
that their agreeable effects on the ear might be expressed by
(_m_/_n_)_a_, (_m_/_n_)_b_, and (_m_/_n_)_c_.

That different consonances, in this sense, are equally harmonious
in their kinds, when equally tempered, or, at least, sufficiently
so for every practical purpose, may be illustrated in the following


Let the lines AB, _ab_, represent the times of vibration of two
tempered unisons. Whatever be the ratio of AB to _ab_, whether
rational or irrational, it is obvious that the successive
vibrations will alternately recede from and approach each other,
till they very nearly coincide; and, that during one of these
periods, the longer vibration, AB, has gained _one_ of the shorter.
Let the points, A, B, &c. represent the middle of the successive
times of vibration of the lower; and _a_, _b_, &c. those of the
higher of the tempered unisons. Let the arc AGN..VA be a part of a
circle, representing one period of their pulses, and let the points
A, _a_, be the middle points of the times of those vibrations which
approach the nearest to a coincidence. It is obvious that the
dislocations _b_B, _c_C, &c. of the successive pulses, increase
in a ratio which is very nearly that of their distances from A,
or _a_. Now if the pulses exactly coincided, the unisons would be
perfect; and the same would be equally true, if the pulses of the
one bisected, or divided in any other constant ratio, those of
the other; as clearly appears from observation. It is, therefore,
not the absolute magnitude, as asserted by Dr. Smith, but the
_variableness_ of the successive dislocations, B_b_, C_c_, &c.
which renders the imperfect unisons discordant; and the magnitude
of the successive increments of these dislocations is the measure
of the degree of discordance heard in the unisons.

If now the time of vibration in each is doubled, AC, _ac_, &c. will
represent the times of vibration of imperfect unisons an octave
below, and the successive dislocations will be C_c_, E_e_, &c.
only half as frequent as before. But the unisons AE, _ae_, will be
equally harmonious with AB, _ab_; because, although the successive
dislocations are less frequent than before, yet the coincidences
C′_c′_, E′_e′_ of the corresponding perfect unisons are less
frequent in the same ratio.

Suppose, in the second place, that the time of vibration is
doubled, in only one of the unisons, _ab_; and that the times
become AB and _ac_, or those of imperfect octaves. These will also
be equally harmonious in their kind with the unisons AB, _ab_. For,
although the dislocations C_c_, E_e_, &c. are but half as numerous
as before, the coincidences of the corresponding perfect octaves
will be but half as numerous. The dislocations which remain are
the same as those of the imperfect unisons; and if some of the
dislocations are struck out, and the increments of successive ones
thus increased, no greater change is made in the nature of the
imperfect than of the perfect consonance.

If, thirdly, we omit two-thirds of the pulses of the lower unison,
retaining the octave _ac_ of the last case, we shall have AD,
_ac_, the times of vibration of imperfect Vths, to which, and to
all other concords, the same reasoning may be applied as above.
It may be briefly exhibited thus; since the intermission of the
coincidences C′_c′_, E′_e′_ of the perfect unisons, an octave
below A′B′, does not render the Vth A′D′G′ _a′c′e′g′_ less perfect
than the unison A′_c′_  _a′c′_, each being perfect in its kind; so
neither does the intermission of the corresponding dislocations
C_c_, E_e_, of the tempered unisons, in the imperfect Vth, ADG,
_aceg_, render it less harmonious in its kind than the tempered
unison AB, _ab_, from which it is derived in exactly the same
manner that the perfect Vth is derived from the perfect unison.

The consonances thus derived, as has been shown by Dr. Smith,
will have the same periods, and consequently the same beats, with
the imperfect unisons. It is obvious, likewise, that they will
all be equally tempered. Let _m_ AB, and _n_ _ab_, be a general
expression for the times of vibration of any such consonance. The
tempering ratio of an imperfect consonance is always found by
dividing the ratio of the vibrations of the imperfect by that of
the corresponding perfect consonance. But

(mAB)/(nab) ÷ m/n = AB/ab;

which is evidently the tempering ratio of the imperfect unisons.

Hence, so far as any reasoning, founded on the abstract nature
of coexisting pulses can be relied on, (for, in a case of this
kind, rigid demonstration can scarcely be expected,) we are led
to conclude that the harmoniousness of different consonances is
proportionally diminished when they are equally tempered.

The remaining part of the proposition, viz. that consonances
differently tempered have their harmoniousness diminished, or their
harshness increased, in the direct ratio of their temperaments,
will be evident, when we consider that the temperament of any
consonance is the sole cause of its harshness, and that the effect
ought to be proportioned to its adequate cause. We may add, that
the rapidity of the beats, in a given consonance, increases very
nearly in the ratio of the temperament; and universal experience
shows, that increasing the rapidity of the beats of the same
consonance, increases its harshness. This is on the supposition
that the consonance is not varied so much as to interfere with any
other whose ratio is equally simple.

_Cor._ We may hence infer, that in every system of temperament
which preserves the octaves perfect, each consonance is equally
harmonious, in its kind, with its complement to the octave, and its
compounds with octaves. For the tempering ratio of the complement
of any concord to the octave, is the same with that of the concord
itself, differing only in its sign, which does not sensibly affect
the harmony or the rate of beating; while the tempering ratio of
the compounds with octaves is not only the same, but with the same

_Scholium 1._

There is no point in harmonics, concerning which theorists have
been more divided in opinion than in regard to the true measure of
equal harmony, in consonances of different kinds. Euler maintains,
that the more simple a consonance is, the less temperament it
will bear; and this seems to have ever been the general opinion
of practical musicians.[4] Dr. Smith, on the contrary, asserts,
and has attempted to demonstrate, that the simpler will bear a
much greater temperament than the more complex consonances. The
foregoing proposition has, at least, the merit of taking the middle
ground between these discordant opinions. If admitted, it will
greatly simplify the whole subject, and will reduce the labour of
rendering all the concords in three octaves as equally harmonious
as possible, which occupies so large a portion of Dr. Smith's
volume, to a single short proposition. Dr. Smith's measure of
equal harmony, viz. equal numbers of short cycles in the intervals
between the successive beats, seems designed, not to render the
different consonances proportionally harmonious, but to reduce
the simpler to an absolute level, in point of agreeableness, with
the more complex; which, as has been shown, is not the object to
be aimed at in adjusting their comparative temperaments. But,
in truth, his measure is far more favourable to the complex
consonances than equal harmony, even in this sense, would require;
and, in a great number of instances, leads to the grossest
absurdities. Two consonances, according to him, are equally
harmonious, when their temperaments are inversely as the products
of the least numbers expressing their perfect ratio. If so, the
VIII + 3d, whose ratio is 5/12, when tempered 1/20 of a comma, and
the unison, whose ratio is 1/1, when tempered 3 commas, are equally
harmonious. But all who have the least experience in tempered
consonances will pronounce, at once, that the former could scarcely
be distinguished by the nicest ear from the corresponding perfect
concord, while the latter would be a most offensive discord. One
instance more shall suffice. The temperaments to render the VIII +
Vth, and the VIII + 6th equally harmonious, are laid down in his
tables to be as 80 : 3. We will now suppose an instrument perfectly
tuned in Dr. Smith's manner, and furnished with all the additional
sounds which constitute his changeable scale. In this system,
the IIIds, and consequently the VIII + 6ths, are tempered 1/9 of
a comma; which, so far from being offensive, will be positively
agreeable to the ear. This cannot be doubted by those who admit
that the VIII + 6ths in the common imperfect scales, when tempered
at a medium nearly seven times as much, make tolerable harmony.
Yet, according to the theory which we are opposing, the VIII + Vth
will be equally harmonious when tempered nearly a minor semitone.
Now let any one, even with the common instruments, whenever an VIII
+ Vth occurs, strike the semitone next above or below: for example,
instead of playing C, _g_, let him play C, _g_♯; instead of A, _e_,
let him play A, _e_♭, &c. and compare the harmony of these with
that of the VIII + 6ths, if he wants any farther evidence that Dr.
Smith's measure of equal harmony is without foundation.

It may be thought, that even the measure of equal harmony laid
down in the proposition, is more favourable to the complex
consonances than the conclusions of experience will warrant. But
when it is asserted by practical musicians, that the octave will
bear less tempering than the Vth, the Vth less than the IIId, &c.,
they doubtless intend to estimate the temperament by the rate of
beating, and to imply, that when different consonances to the same
base are made to beat equally fast, the simpler are more offensive
than the more complex consonances. This is entirely consistent
with the proposition; for when equally tempered, the more complex
consonances will beat more rapidly than the more simple; if on the
same base, very nearly in the ratio of their major terms. (Smith's
Har. Prop. XI. Cor. 4.) If, for example, an octave, a Vth, and a
IIId on the same base were made to beat with a rapidity which is
as the numbers 2, 3, and 5, no unprejudiced ear would probably
pronounce the octave less harmonious in its kind than the IIId.

To those, on the other hand, who may incline to a measure of equal
harmony between that laid down in the proposition and that of
Dr. Smith, on account of the rapidity of the beats of the more
complex consonances, it maybe sufficient to reply, that if the
beats of a more complex consonance are more rapid than those of a
simpler one, when both are equally tempered, those of the latter,
cæteris paribus, are more _distinct_. It is the distinctness of the
undulations, in tempered consonances, which is one of the principal
causes of offence to the ear.

_Scholium 2._

It will be proper to explain, in this place, the notation of
musical intervals, which will be adopted in the following pages.
It is well known that musical intervals are as the logarithms
of their corresponding ratios. If, therefore, the octave be
represented by .30103, the log. of 2, the value of the Vth will be
expressed by .17509; that of the major tone by .05115; that of the
comma by .00540, &c. But in order to avoid the prefixed ciphers,
in calculations where so small intervals as the temperaments of
different concords are concerned, we will multiply each of these
values by 100,000, which will give a set of integral values having
the same ratio. The octave will now become 30103, the comma 540,
&c.; and, in general, when temperaments are hereafter expressed by
numbers, they are to be considered as so many 540ths of a comma.
Had more logarithmic places been taken, the intervals would have
been expressed with greater accuracy; but it was supposed that the
additional accuracy would not compensate for the increased labour
of computation which it would occasion. This notation has been
adopted by Dr. Robinson, in the article Temperament, (Encyc. Brit.
Supplement;) and for every practical purpose, is as much superior
to that proposed by Mr. Farey, in parts of the Schisma, lesser
fraction and minute,[5] as all decimal measures necessarily are, to
those which consist of different denominations.


  In adjusting the imperfections of the scale, so as to render
  all the consonances as equally harmonious as possible, only the
  simple consonances, such as the Vth, IIId, and 3d, with their
  complements to and compounds with the octave, can be regarded.

It has been generally assigned as the reason for neglecting the
consonances, usually termed discords, in ascertaining the best
scheme of temperament, that they are of less frequent occurrence
than the concords. This, however, if it were the only reason, would
lead us, not to neglect them entirely, but merely to give them a
less degree of influence than the concords, in proportion as they
are less used.

A consideration which seems not to have been often noticed, renders
it impossible to pay them any regard in harmonical computations.
All such computations must proceed on the supposition that within
the limits to which the temperaments of the different consonances
extend, they become harsher as their temperaments are increased.
It is evident that any consonance may be tempered so much as to
become better by having its temperament increased, in consequence
of its approaching as near to some other perfect ratio, the terms
of which are equally small; or perhaps much nearer some perfect
ratio whose terms are not proportionally larger. For example,
after we have sharpened the Vth more than 3 commas, it becomes
more harmonious, as approaching much nearer to the perfect ratio
5/6. In this, however, and the other concords, the value of the
nearest perfect ratios in small numbers, varies so much from the
ratios of these concords, and the consequent limits within which
the last part of Prop. I. holds true, are so wide that there is no
hazard in making it a basis of calculation. And if there be a few
exceptions to this, in some systems, in which the temperaments of a
few of the concords become so large as to approach nearer to some
other perfect ratio, whose terms are nearly as small as those of
the perfect concord, although they might become more harmonious, by
having their temperament increased, yet their effect in _melody_
would be still more impaired; so that the concords may all be
considered as subjected to the same rule of calculation.

But the limits within which the second part of Prop. I. holds
true, with regard to the more complex consonances, are much more
limited. We cannot, for instance, sharpen the 7th, whose ratio is
9 : 16 more than ½ a comma, without rendering it more harmonious,
as approaching nearer another perfect ratio which is simpler; that
of 5 : 9. Yet the difference between these two 7ths is so trifling
that they have never received distinct names; and, indeed, their
effect on the ear in melody would not be sensibly different.

Again, the 5th, whose perfect ratio has been generally laid down as
45 : 64, but which is in reality 25 : 36,[6] cannot be sharpened
more than ⅓ of a comma, before it becomes more harmonious by
having its temperament increased, as approaching nearer the simpler
ratio 7 : 10. At the same time, the effect of this interval in
melody would not be sensibly varied. The limits, within which the
harmoniousness of the IVth is inversely as its temperament, are
still narrower.

Hence it appears that no inference can be drawn from the
temperaments of such consonances as the 7th, 5th, IVth, &c.
respecting their real harmoniousness. The other perfect ratios
which have nearly the same value with those of these chords,
and which are in equally simple terms, are so numerous that by
increasing their temperament they alternately become more and
less harmonious; and in a manner so irregular, that to attempt to
subject them to calculation, with the concords, would be in vain.
Even when unaltered, they may be considered either as greater
temperaments of more simple, or less temperaments of more complex
ratios. Suppose the 5th, for example, to be flattened ⅕ of a comma:
shall it be considered as deriving its character from the perfect
ratio 25 : 36, and be regarded as flattened 108; or shall it be
referred to the perfect ratio 7 : 10, and considered as sharpened
239? No one can tell.--On the whole, it is manifest that no
consonances more complex than those included in the proposition,
can be regarded in adjusting the temperaments of the scale.


  The best scale of sounds, which renders the harmony of all the
  concords as nearly equal as possible, is that in which the Vths
  are flattened 2/7, and the IIIds and 3ds, each 1/7 of a comma.

The octave must be kept perfect, for reasons which have satisfied
all theoretical and practical harmonists, how widely soever
their opinions have differed in other respects. Admitting equal
temperament to be the measure of equal harmony, the complements
of the Vth, IIId, and 3d, to the octave, and their compounds with
octaves will be equally harmonious in their kinds with these
concords respectively; according to the corollary of Prop I.

Hence we have only to find those temperaments of the Vths, IIIds,
and 3ds, in the compass of one octave, which will render them all,
as nearly as possible, equally harmonious. The temperaments of the
different concords of the same name ought evidently to be rendered
equal; since, otherwise, their harmony cannot be equal. This can
be effected only by rendering the major and minor tones equal, and
preserving the equality of the two semitones. If this is done, the
temperament of all the IIIds will be equal, since they will each
be the sum of two equal tones. For a similar reason the 3ds, and
consequently the Vths, formed by the addition of IIIds, and 3ds,
will be equally tempered.


    x - c     x    (3c - 5x)/2   x - c     x    x - c    (3c - 5x)/2
  C        D     E             F        G     A        B             c

In order to reduce the octave to five equal and variable tones, and
two equal and variable semitones, we will suppose the intervals of
the untempered octave to be represented by the parts CD, DE, &c.
of the line C_c_. Denoting the comma by _c_, we will suppose the
tone DE, which is naturally minor, to be increased by any variable
quantity, _x_; then, by the foregoing observations, the other minor
tone, GA, must be increased by the same quantity. As the major
tones must be rendered equal to the minor, their increment will be
_x_ - _c_. As the octave is to be perfect, the variation of the two
semitones must be the same with that of the five tones, with the
contrary sign; and as they are to be equally varied, the decrement
of each will be (5_x_ - 3_c_)/2; or what amounts to the same thing,
the increment of each will be (3_c_ - 5_x_)/2.

The several concords of the same name in this octave are now
affected with equal and variable temperaments. The common increment
of the IIIds will be 2_x_ - _c_; that of the 3ds ½ · (_c_ -
3_x_); and consequently that of the Vths ½ · (_x_ - _c_).

In adjusting these variable temperaments, so as to render the
harmony of the concords of _different_ kinds, as nearly equal as
possible, we immediately discover that, as the Vth is composed
of the IIId and 3d, the temperaments of the three cannot all be
equal. When the temperaments of the IIId and 3d have the same
sign, that of the Vths must be equal to their sum; and, when they
have contrary signs, to their difference. Hence the temperament
of one of these three concords is necessarily equal to the sum
of that of the other two. This being fixed, the temperaments,
and consequently, (by Prop. I.) the discordance of the different
consonances is the most equably divided possible, when the two
smaller temperaments, whose sum is equal to the greater, are made
equal to each other. The problem contains three cases.

1. When the temperaments of the IIId and 3d have the same sign,
they ought to be equal to each other. Making

2x - c = ½ · (c - 3x), we obtain x = 3/7 c,

which, substituted in the general expressions for the temperaments
of the Vth, IIId, and 3d, makes their increments equal to -2/7 _c_,
-1/7 _c_, -1/7 _c_, respectively.

2. Let the temperaments of the IIId and 3d have contrary signs: and
first, let that of the IIIds be the greater. Then the former ought
to be double of the latter, in order that the temperament of the
Vths and and 3ds may be equal. Hence we have

2x - c = - 2 · ½ · (c - 3x); whence x is found = 0;

and by substitution as before, the required temperament of the IIId
= - _c_; of the Vth - ½_c_, and of the 3d ½_c_.

3. Let the temperaments of the IIId and 3d have contrary signs, as
before; and let that of the 3d be the greater.

Making ½ · (c - 3x) = -2 · (2x - c), we obtain x = 3/5 c;

which gives, by substitution, the temperaments of the 3d, Vth, and
IIId - 2/5 _c_, - 1/5 _c_, and 1/5 _c_, respectively.

Each of these results makes the harmony of all the consonances as
nearly equal as possible; but as the sum of the temperaments in
the first case is much the least, it follows that the temperaments
stated in the proposition constitute the best scheme of intervals
for the natural scale, in which the harmony of all the different
consonances is rendered as nearly equal as possible.

_Cor. 1._ In the same manner it may be shown that these
temperaments are the best, among those which approach as nearly as
possible to equal harmony, for the _artificial_ scale; provided
that it is furnished with distinct sounds for all the sharps and
flats in common use. By inserting a sound between F and G, making
the interval F♯G equal to either of the semitones found above,
the intervals, reckoned from G as a key note, will be exactly the
same in respect to their temperaments, as the corresponding ones
reckoned from C. The same thing holds, whatever be the number of
flats and sharps. It is supposed, however, that the flat of a note
is never used for the sharp of that next below, or the contrary;
and hence this scheme of temperament would only be adapted to an
instrument, furnished with all the degrees of the enharmonic scale;
or, at least, with as many as are in common use.

_Cor. 2._ This scale will differ but little in practice from the
one deduced, with so much labour, by Dr. Smith, from his criterion
of equal harmony; which flattens the Vths 5/18, the IIIds 1/9, and
the 3ds 1/6 of a comma. The several differences are only 1/126,
2/63, and 1/42 of a comma. Hence, as his measure of equal harmony
differs so widely from that of Proposition I. we may infer that
the consideration of equalizing the harmony of the concords of
different names can have very little practical influence on the
temperaments of the scale. Should it, therefore, be maintained that
the criterion laid down in Prop. I. is not mathematically accurate;
yet, as it must be allowed, in the most unfavourable view, to
correspond far better with the decisions of experience than that
of Doctor Smith, the chance is, that, at the lowest estimate,
the temperaments deduced from it approach much more nearly to
correctness. Hence it is manifest that equal temperament may be
made, _without any sensible error in practice_, the criterion of
equal harmony.

_Scholium 3._

Although the foregoing would be the best division of the
musical scale, if our sole object were to render the harmony
of its concords as nearly equal as possible, yet the two other
considerations, stated at the beginning of the essay, must by no
means be neglected, as has been done by Dr. Smith. It seems to
be universally admitted, that the sum of the temperaments may be
increased to a certain extent, in order to equalize the harmony
of the concords; otherwise the natural scale of major and minor
tones, which makes the sum of the temperaments of the Vths, IIIds,
and 3ds but 2 commas, ought to be left unaltered. Yet how far
this principle ought to be carried, may be a matter of doubt. If
we make the IIIds perfect, and flatten the Vths and 3ds each ¼
_c_, according to the old system of mean tones, we shall have the
smallest aggregate of temperaments which admits of the different
concords of the same name being rendered equally imperfect; but
this amounts to 2½ commas. Thus far, however, it seems evidently
proper to proceed. If we go still farther, and endeavour to
equalize the harmony of the concords of _different_ names, it may
be questioned whether nearly as much is not lost as gained; for
the aggregate temperaments are increased, in Dr. Smith's scale,
to 2⅔ _c_, and in that of the above proposition to 2-5/7 _c_. The
system of mean tones, although more unequal in its harmony when
but two notes are struck at once, yet when the chords are played
full, as they generally are on the organ, never offends the ear by
a transition from a better to a worse harmony. For every _triad_ is
equally harmonious; being composed of a perfect IIId, and a Vth and
3d, tempered each ¼ _c_, or of their complements to, or compounds
with octaves, which, in their kinds, are equally harmonious.

Again, if different chords, in practice, vary in the frequency of
their occurrence, this will be a sufficient reason for deviating
from the system of equal temperament. Suppose, for example, that
a given sum of temperament is to be divided between two Vths, one
of which occurs in playing ten times as often as the other: there
can be no doubt that the greater part of the temperament ought to
be thrown upon the latter. Hence it becomes an important problem to
ascertain, with some degree of precision, the relative frequency
with which different consonances occur in practice. Before
proceeding to a direct investigation of this problem, it may be
observed, in general, that such a difference manifestly exists. In
a given key, it cannot have escaped the most superficial observer,
that the most frequent combination of sounds is the common chord
on the tonic; that the next after this is that on the dominant,
and the third, that on the subdominant. Perhaps scarcely a piece
of music can be found, in which this order of frequency does not
hold true. It is equally true that some signatures occur oftener
than others. That of one sharp will be found to be more used, in
the major mode, than any other; and, in general, the more simple
keys will be found of more frequent occurrence than those which
have more flats or sharps. These differences are not the result
of accident. The tonic, dominant, and subdominant, are obviously
the most prominent notes in the scale, and must always be the
fundamental bases of more chords than either of the others; while
the greater ease of playing on the simpler keys will always be a
reason with composers for setting a larger part of their music on
these, than on the more difficult keys. It is observable, that the
greater part of musical compositions, whether of the major or minor
mode, is reducible to two kinds: that in which the base chiefly
moves between the tonic and its octave, and that in which the base
moves between the dominant and subdominant of the key. The former
class, in the major mode, are almost universally set on the key of
one sharp; the latter, generally on the natural key, or that of
two sharps. In the minor mode, the former class have usually the
signature of two flats, or the natural key; the latter, that of one
flat. Hence the three former keys will comprise the greater part
of the music in the major mode, and the three latter, of that in
the minor mode, in every promiscuous collection. But if we were
even to suppose each of the chords in the same key, and each of
the signatures, of equally frequent occurrence, some chords would
occur much oftener, as forming an essential part of the harmony of
_more keys_ than others. The Vth DA, for example, forms one of the
essential chords of six different keys; while the Vth G♯D♯ forms a
part only of the single key of four sharps.


  To find a set of numbers, expressing the ratio of the probable
  number of times that each of the different consonances in the
  scale will occur, in any set of musical compositions.

This can be done only by investigating their actual frequency
of occurrence in a collection of pieces for the instrument to
be tuned, sufficiently extensive and diversified to serve as a
specimen of music for the same instrument in general. This may
appear, at first view, an endless task; and it would be really
such, were we to take music promiscuously, and count all the
consonances which the base makes with the higher parts, and the
higher parts with each other. But it appears, from Prop. I. Cor.
that all the positions and inversions of a chord, when the octaves
are kept perfect, are equally harmonious with the chord itself. The
Vth, for example, which makes one of the consonances in a common
harmonic triad, is equally harmonious in its kind, with the V +
VIII, which takes its place in the 3d position of this triad, and
with the 4th in its second inversion. Hence, instead of counting
single consonances, we have only to count chords; and this is done
with the greatest ease, by means of the figures of the thorough
base. The labour will be still farther abridged by reducing the
derivative chords, such as the 6, the 6/4, &c. to their proper
roots, as they are taken down. But even after these reductions,
the labour of numbering the different chords in a sufficiently
extensive set of compositions, to establish, with any degree of
certainty, the relative frequency of the different signatures,
would be very irksome. A method, however, presents itself, which
renders it sufficient to examine the chords in such a set of pieces
only as will give their chance of occurrence in _two_ keys--a
major, and its relative minor.

It will be evident to all who are much conversant with musical
compositions, that the _internal structure_ of all pieces in the
same mode, whatever be their signature, is much the same. There is
scarcely more difference, for example, in the relative frequency
of different chords in the natural key, and in that of two sharps,
or two flats, than there is in different pieces on the same key.
If the Vth CG on the tonic has to the Vth EB on the mediant in
the natural key, any given ratio of frequency _m_ : _n_, the
relative frequency of the Vth DA on the tonic, and the Vth F♯ C♯
on the mediant in the key of two sharps, will not sensibly differ
from that of _m_ : _n_. Hence, if we examine a sufficient number
of pieces to establish the relative frequency of the different
consonances in one major and its relative minor key, and, by a much
more extensive investigation, ascertain the relative frequency
of occurrence of the different signatures, it is evident, that
by multiplying this last series of numbers into the first, and
adding those products which belong to chords terminated by the same
letters, we shall have a series of numbers expressing the chance of
occurrence in favour of each of the consonances of the scale, when
_all_ the keys are taken into view.

It was judged that 200 scores, taken promiscuously from all the
varieties of music for the organ,[7] would afford a set of numbers
expressing, with sufficient accuracy, the chance that a given
consonance will occur in a single major, and its relative minor
key. Accordingly 200 scores were examined, 150 in the major, and
50 in the minor mode, (as it will appear hereafter that this is
nearly the ratio of their frequency) of the various species of
music for the organ, comprising a proper share both of the simpler
and of the more rapid and chromatic movements. As the selecting and
reducing to their proper keys all the occasional modulations which
occur in the same piece would render the labour of ascertaining
the relative frequency of different signatures very tedious, it
was thought best to consider all those modulations which are too
transient to be indicated by a new signature, as belonging to the
same key. This will account for the occurrence of the chords in the
following table, which are affected by flats and sharps.

The minim, or the crotchet, was taken for unity, according to the
rapidity of the movement. Bases of greater or less length had their
proper values assigned them; although mere notes of passage, which
bore no proper harmony, were generally disregarded. The scores were
taken promiscuously from all the different keys; and were reduced,
when taken down, to the same tonic; the propriety of which will
evidently appear from the foregoing remarks. The following table
contains the result of the investigation.


  |       | Common Chords.||  Flat Fifths. |     7ths.     || 9-sevenths. |
  |       +-------+-------++-------+-------+-------+-------++------+------+
  |Bases. | Major | Minor || Major.| Minor.| Major.| Minor.||Major.|Minor.|
  |       | mode. | mode. ||       |       |       |       ||      |      |
  |B III  |    5  |    8  ||   --  |   --  |    7  |   --  ||  --  |  --  |
  |B      |    3  |   --  ||  163  |   55  |   11  |   17  ||   2  |  --  |
  |B♭    |    4  |    4  ||   --  |   --  |   --  |   --  ||  --  |  --  |
  |A VII  |   --  |   --  ||   --  |   --  |   --  |   --  ||   3  |  --  |
  |A III  |   19  |    8  ||   --  |   --  |    7  |    2  ||  --  |  --  |
  |A      |  166  |  588  ||    2  |    1  |   26  |    5  ||   2  |  --  |
  |G♯     |   --  |   --  ||    3  |   38  |   --  |   --  ||  --  |  --  |
  |G 3    |   18  |   15  ||   --  |   --  |   --  |   --  ||  --  |  --  |
  |G      |  965  |   93  ||   --  |   --  |  178  |   15  ||   3  |  --  |
  |F♯     |   --  |   --  ||   46  |    4  |   11  |    2  ||  --  |  --  |
  |F      |  352  |   60  ||   --  |   --  |   11  |   12  ||   7  |   3  |
  |E III  |   26  |  271  ||   --  |   --  |    1  |   25  ||  --  |  --  |
  |E      |   32  |   25  ||    5  |    1  |    8  |   --  ||   1  |   4  |
  |D♯ III |   --  |   --  ||    2  |    1  |   --  |   --  ||  --  |  --  |
  |D♯     |   --  |   --  ||   --  |    4  |   --  |   --  ||  --  |  --  |
  |D III  |   29  |    4  ||   --  |   --  |   49  |    7  ||  --  |  --  |
  |D      |  120  |  129  ||   --  |   --  |   55  |   18  ||   6  |   1  |
  |C♯     |   --  |   --  ||    2  |    4  |    1  |   --  ||  --  |  --  |
  |C 3    |    2  |   --  ||   --  |   --  |   --  |   --  ||  --  |  --  |
  |C      | 1769  |  275  ||   --  |   --  |    5  |    1  ||   4  |   1  |

The following anomalous chords were found in the major mode, and
are subjoined, to make the list complete:

  8 ♯5ths on C, and 1 on D.
  5 5/4ths on D, 2 on E, and 1 on G.

The left hand column of the foregoing table contains the
fundamental bases of the several chords. When any number is annexed
to the letter denoting the fundamental, it denotes the quality of
some other note belonging to the chord. E III, for example, denotes
that the various chords on E, which stand against it, have their
third sharped; G 3, that the third, which is naturally major, is
to be taken minor, &c. Of the two columns in each of the four
remaining pairs, the left contains the number of chords belonging
to each root, of the kind specified at the top, which were found
in 150 scores in the major mode; and the right, the corresponding
results of the examination of 50 scores in the minor mode. The
diminished triad, which is used in harmonical progression like the
other triads, has its lowest note considered as its fundamental.
The diminished 7th, in the few instances in which it occurred, was
considered as the first inversion of the 9/7th, agreeably to the
French classification, and was accordingly reduced to that head.

From this table, the number of times that each consonance of two
notes would actually occur, were the 200 scores played, is easily
computed. We will suppose three notes, besides octaves, to be
played to each chord. The octaves played it is unnecessary to
take into the computation, as it would only multiply the number
of consonances whose temperament is the same, in the same ratio,
and would have no effect on the _ratio_ of the numbers expressing
the frequency of the different consonances. In the chord of the
7th, which naturally consists of four notes, we will suppose, for
the sake of uniformity, that one is omitted; and as the 7th ought
always to be struck, we will suppose the Vth and IIId of the base
to be omitted, each half the number of times in which this chord
occurs. Considered as composed of three distinct notes, neither
of which is an octave of either of the others, each chord will
contain three distinct consonances. The common chord on C, for
example, will contain the Vth CG, the IIId CE, and the 3d EG. The
9/7 on C will contain the VII CB, the IX, or (which must have the
same temperament) the IId CD, and the 3d BD. Reducing all these
consonances to their proper places, and adding those of the same
name which have the same degree for their base, we obtain the
following results:


  |        || Vths, 4ths, and  || IIIds, 6ths, and || 3ds, VIths, and  |
  | Bases. ||     Octaves.     ||      Octaves.    ||     Octaves.     |
  |        |+------------------++------------------++------------------+
  |        || Major. | Minor.  || Major.  | Minor. || Major. | Minor.  |
  |B       ||     8  |     8   ||    10   |     8  ||  1141  |   214   |
  |B♭     ||     3  |      6  ||    22   |    19  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |A       ||   195  |   607   ||    22   |    10  ||   626  |   663   |
  |G♯      ||  ----  |  ----   ||  ----   |  ----  ||    32  |   310   |
  |G       ||  1088  |   116   ||  1090   |   125  ||    22  |    23   |
  |F♯      ||  ----  |  ----   ||  ----   |  ----  ||    78  |    10   |
  |F       ||   395  |    78   ||   486   |   301  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |E       ||    59  |   308   ||    40   |   284  ||  1828  |   308   |
  |E♭     ||  ----  |  ----   ||     2   |  ----  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |D♯      ||  ----  |  ----   ||  ----   |  ----  ||     7  |     9   |
  |D       ||   197  |   156   ||    60   |     7  ||   403  |   213   |
  |C♯      ||  ----  |  ----   ||  ----   |  ----  ||    26  |    12   |
  |C       ||  1807  |   278   ||  1959   |   870  ||     4  |     1   |
  |        || 5ths, IVths, and || 7ths, IIds, and  || VIIths, 2ds, and |
  | Bases. ||     Octaves.     ||     Octaves.     ||     Octaves.     |
  |        |+--------+---------++---------+--------++--------+---------+
  |        || Major. | Minor.  || Major.  | Minor. || Major. | Minor.  |
  |B       ||   256  |   265   ||    25   |    17  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |B♭     ||  ----  |  ----   ||  ----   |  ----  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |A       ||     2  |     1   ||    34   |     7  ||     3  |  ----   |
  |G♯      ||    10  |    53   ||  ----   |  ----  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |G       ||  ----  |  ----   ||   188   |    20  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |F♯      ||    74  |     7   ||     1   |     2  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |F       ||  ----  |  ----   ||  ----   |  ----  ||    17  |    16   |
  |E       ||    10  |     1   ||    20   |    27  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |E♭     ||  ----  |  ----   ||  ----   |  ----  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |D♯      ||     7  |     5   ||  ----   |  ----  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |D       ||  ----  |  ----   ||   123   |    27  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |C♯      ||     9  |    10   ||     1   |  ----  ||  ----  |  ----   |
  |C       ||  ----  |  ----   ||     5   |     1  ||    10  |     1   |

Besides the following chromatic intervals:

               { 8 extreme sharp 5ths on C
  Major mode.  { 1 --------------------- D
               { 1 extreme flat 7th ---- G♯

               { 4 extreme sharp 6ths on F
  Minor mode.  { 4 extreme  flat 7ths on C♯
               { 3 --------------------- G♯

It was thought best to exhibit a complete table of all the
consonances which occurred in the 200 scores examined; although
(Prop. II.) only the concords in the upper half of the table can
be regarded in forming a system of temperament. For the more
frequent consonances, this table may be regarded as founded on a
sufficiently extensive induction to be tolerably accurate. For the
more unfrequent chords, and especially for those which arise from
unusual modulations, it expresses the chance of occurrence with
very little accuracy; and it is doubtless the fact that a more
extensive investigation would include some chords not found at all
in this list. But it must be recollected, on the other hand, that
the influence of these unusual chords on the resulting system of
temperament would be insensible, could their chance of occurrence
be determined with the greatest accuracy.

But none of the numbers in the foregoing table by any means
expresses the chance that a given interval will occur, considering
_all_ the keys in which it is found. For example, the Vth CG on the
tonic of the natural key, in music written on this key, is the one
of most frequent occurrence, its chance being expressed by 1807;
but in the key of two flats, it becomes the Vth on the supertonic,
and its chance of occurrence is only as 197. Hence the problem can
be completed only by finding a set of numbers which shall express,
with some degree of accuracy, the relative frequency of different

An examination of 1600 scores, comprising four entire collections
of music for the organ and voice, by the best European composers,
besides many miscellaneous pieces, afforded the results in the
following table:


  | Signatures. | Major Mode. | Minor Mode. |
  |4♯_s_        |        42   |         2   |
  |3♯_s_        |        95   |         6   |
  |2♯_s_        |       200   |        13   |
  |1♯           |       322   |        72   |
  |♮            |       176   |       121   |
  |1♭          |       180   |        97   |
  |2♭_s_       |        70   |        77   |
  |3♭_s_       |       116   |         8   |
  |4♭_s_       |         0   |         3   |
  |Ratio of their sums 1201   :       399   |

The chance of occurrence for any chord varies as the frequency
of the key to which it belongs, and as the number belonging to
the place which it holds, as referred to the tonic, in Table II.,
jointly. Hence the chance of its occurrence in all the keys in
which it is found, is as the sum of the products of the numbers in
Table III., each into such a number of Table II. as corresponds to
its place in that key. To give a specimen of the manner in which
this calculation is to be conducted, the numbers belonging to the
major mode in the three first divisions of Table II. are first
to be multiplied throughout by 176, which expresses the relative
frequency of the major mode of the natural key. They are then to
be multiplied throughout by 322, which expresses the frequency
of the key of one sharp. But the first product, which expresses
the frequency of the Vth on the tonic, now becomes GD, and must
be added, not to the first, but to the fifth, in the last row of
products. The product into 59, expressing the frequency of the
Vth on the mediant, becomes BF♯, an interval not found among the
essential chords of the natural key. In general, the products
of the numbers in Table III. into those in Table II. are to be
considered as belonging, not to the letters against which these
multipliers stand, but to those which have the same position _with
regard to their successive tonics_, as these have with regard to
C. Whenever an interval occurs, affected with a new flat or sharp,
it is to be considered as the commencement of a new succession of
products. The IIId C♯E♯, for example, does not occur at all till
we come to the key of two sharps, and even then only in occasional
modulations, corresponding to the IIId on B in the natural key,
whose multiplier is 10. In the key of 3 sharps it becomes another
accidental chord, answering to the IIId on E in the key of C, and
consequently has 40 for its multiplier. It is only in the key of
6 sharps, that it becomes a constituent chord of the key; when if
that key were ever used, it would correspond to the IIId GB on the
dominant of the natural key.

After all the products have been taken and reduced to their proper
places, in the manner exemplified above, a similar operation must
be repeated with the numbers in the second column of Table III. and
those in the second columns in the three first divisions of Table

The necessity of keeping the major, and its relative minor key,
distinct, will be evident, when we consider that the several keys
in the minor mode do not follow the same law of frequency as in the
major; as is manifest from the observations in Schol. Prop. III.
and as clearly appears from an inspection of Table III.

But in order to discover the relative frequency of the different
chords on _every_ account, the results of the two foregoing
operations must be united. Now, as the numbers in the two columns
of Table II. at a medium, are as 3 : 1, and those in Table III.
are in the same ratio, although the factors are to each other
in only the simple ratio of the relative frequency of the two
modes, yet their products will, at a medium, be in the _duplicate_
ratio of that frequency. Hence, to render the two sets of results
homologous, so that those which correspond to the same interval may
be properly added, to express the general chance of occurrence for
that interval in all the major and minor keys in which it is found,
this duplicate ratio must be reduced to a simple one, either by
dividing the first, or by multiplying the last series of results,
by 3. We will do the latter, as it will give the ratios in the
largest, and, of course, the most accurate terms. Then adding those
results in each which belong to the same interval, and cutting off
the three right hand figures, (expressing in the nearest small
fractions those results which are under 1000) which will leave a
set of ratios abundantly accurate for every purpose; the numbers
constituting the final solution of the problem will stand as


  |        | Vths and | IIIds and | 3ds and |
  | Bases. |   4ths.  |   6ths.   |  VIths. |
  |F♯      |      67  |       29  |    1072 |
  |F       |     639  |      924  |      66 |
  |E♯      |    ----  |     ----  |      12 |
  |E       |     548  |      323  |    1151 |
  |E♭     |     265  |      363  |       ½ |
  |D♯      |       ⅓  |        ½  |     144 |
  |D       |    1166  |      943  |     569 |
  |D♭     |       1  |        6  |    ---- |
  |C♯      |      25  |       12  |     581 |
  |C       |     816  |     1131  |     180 |
  |B♯      |    ----  |     ----  |       4 |
  |B       |     221  |      135  |    1161 |
  |B♭     |     418  |      654  |       5 |
  |A♯      |    ----  |      ---- |      29 |
  |A       |     870  |       568 |    1085 |
  |A♭     |      52  |        78 |       ⅕ |
  |G♯      |       5  |         4 |     365 |
  |G       |    1207  |      1197 |     567 |
  |F♯♯     |    ----  |      ---- |       ¼ |
  |G♭     |    ----  |         ½ |    ---- |

NOTE. In this table, as well as the last, the Vths, IIIds, and
3ds are to be taken _above_, and the 4ths, 6ths, and VIths, their
complements to the octave, _below_ the corresponding degrees in
the first column. And, in general, whenever the Vths, IIIds, and
3ds are hereafter treated as different classes of concords, each
will be understood to include its complement to the octave and its
compounds with octaves.


The foregoing table exhibits, with sufficient accuracy, the ratio
of the whole number of times which the different chords would
occur, were the 1600 scores, whose signatures were examined,
actually played in succession, on the keys to which they are set,
and with an instrument having distinct sounds for all the flats
and sharps. Had the examination been more extensive, the results
might be relied on with greater assurance as accurate; but the
general similarity, not only in the structure of different musical
compositions, but in the comparative frequency of the different
keys in different authors; is so great, that a more extensive
examination was thought to be of little practical importance.

(_To be continued._)

ART. II. _Review of an elementary Treatise on Mineralogy and
Geology, being an introduction to the study of these sciences, and
designed for the use of pupils; for persons attending lectures
on these subjects; and as a companion for travellers in the
United States of America--Illustrated by six plates. By_ PARKER
CLEAVELAND, _Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, and
Lecturer on Chemistry and Mineralogy in Bowdoin College, Member
of the American Academy, and Corresponding Member of the Linnæan
Society of New England_.

                    ----itum est in viscera terræ:
      Quasque recondiderat, Stygiisque admoverat umbris,
      Effodiuntur opes----

_Boston, published by Cummings and Hilliard, No. 1, Cornhill.
Printed by Hilliard & Metcalf, at the University Press, Cambridge,
New England. 1816._

This work has been for some time before the public, and it has
been more or less the subject of remark in our various journals.
It is, however, so appropriate to the leading objects of _this_
Journal, that we cannot consider ourselves as performing labours of
supererogation while we consider the necessity, plan, and execution
of the treatise of Professor Cleaveland.

An extensive cultivation of the physical sciences is peculiar to
an advanced state of society, and evinces, in the country where
they flourish, a highly improved state of the arts, and a great
degree of intelligence in the community. To this state of things
we are now fast approximating. The ardent curiosity regarding
these subjects, already enkindled in the public mind, the very
respectable attainments in science which we have already made, and
our rapidly augmenting means of information in books, instruments,
collections, and teachers, afford ground for the happiest

Those sciences which require no means for their investigation
beyond books, teachers, and study--those which demand no physical
demonstrations, no instruments of research, no material specimens:
we mean those sciences which relate only to the intellectual
and moral character of man, were early fostered, and, in a good
degree, matured in this country. Hence, in theology, in ethics,
in jurisprudence, and in civil policy, our advances were much
earlier, and more worthy of respect, than in the sciences relating
to material things. In some of these, it is true, we have made
very considerable advances, especially in natural philosophy and
the mathematics, and their applications to the arts; and this
has been true, in some good degree, for very nearly a century.
Natural history has been the most tardy in its growth, and no
branch of it was, till within a few years, involved in such
darkness as mineralogy. Notwithstanding the laudable efforts of a
few gentlemen to excite some taste for these subjects, so little
had been effected in forming collections, in kindling curiosity,
and diffusing information, that only fifteen years since, it was
a matter of extreme difficulty to obtain, _among ourselves_,
even _the names_ of the most common stones and minerals; and one
might inquire earnestly, and long, before he could find any one
to identify even _quartz_, _feldspar_, or _hornblende_, among the
simple minerals; or _granite_, _porphyry_, or _trap_, among the
rocks. _We speak from experience_, and well remember with what
impatient, but almost despairing curiosity, we eyed the bleak,
naked ridges, which impended over the valleys and plains that were
the scenes of our youthful excursions. In vain did we doubt whether
the glittering spangles of mica, and the still more alluring
brilliancy of pyrites, gave assurance of the existence of the
precious metals in those substances; or whether the cutting of
glass by the garnet, and by quartz, proved that these minerals were
the diamond; but if they were not precious metals, and if they were
not diamonds, we in vain inquired of our companions, and even of
our teachers, what they were.

We do not forget that Dr. Adam Seybert, in Philadelphia; Dr.
Samuel L. Mitchill, in New-York; and Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, in
Harvard University, began at an earlier period to enlighten the
public on this subject; they began to form collections; Harvard
received a select cabinet from France and England; and Mr. Smith,
of Philadelphia, (although, returning from Europe fraught with
scientific acquisitions, he perished tragically near his native
shores,) left his collection to enrich the Museum of the American
Philosophical Society.

Still, however, although individuals were enlightened, no serious
impression was produced on the public mind; a few lights were
indeed held out, but they were lights twinkling in an almost
impervious gloom.

The return of the late Benjamin D. Perkins, and of the late Dr.
A. Bruce, from Europe, in 1802 and 3, with their collections,
then the most complete and beautiful that this country had ever
seen; the return of Colonel Gibbs, in 1805, with his extensive
and magnificent cabinet; his consequent excursions and researches
into our mineralogy; the commencement, about this time, of
courses of lectures on mineralogy, in several of our colleges,
and of collections by them and by many individuals; the return
of Mr. Maclure, in 1807; his Herculean labour in surveying the
United States geologically, by personal examination; and the
institution of the American Journal of Mineralogy, by Dr. Bruce,
in 1810;--these are among the most prominent events, which, in
the course of a few years, have totally changed the face of this
science in the United States.

During the last ten years, it has been cultivated with great
ardour, and with great success: many interesting discoveries in
American mineralogy have been made; and this science, with its
sister science, Geology, is fast arresting the public attention.
In such a state of things, books relating to mineralogy would of
course be eagerly sought for.

No work, anterior to Kirwan, could be consulted by the student with
much advantage, on account of the wonderful progress, which, within
forty or fifty years, has been made in mineralogy. Even Kirwan,
who performed a most important service to the science, was become,
in some considerable degree, imperfect and obsolete; the German
treatises, the fruitful fountains from which the science had flowed
over Europe, were not translated; neither were those of the French;
and this was the more to be regretted, because they had mellowed
down the harshness and enriched the sterility of the German method
of description, besides adding many interesting discoveries of
their own. It is true we possessed the truly valuable treatise
of Professor Jameson, the most complete in our language. But the
expense of the work made it unattainable by most of our students,
and the undeviating strictness with which the highly respectable
author has adhered to the German mode of description, gave it an
aspect somewhat repulsive to the minds of novices, who consulted no
other book. We are, however, well aware of the value of this work,
especially in the improved edition. It must, without doubt, be in
the hands of every one who would be master of the science; but
it is much better adapted to the purposes of proficients than of

The mineralogical articles dispersed through Aikin's Dictionary are
exceedingly valuable; but, from the high price of the work, they
are inaccessible to most persons.

The most recent of the French systems, that by Brongniart, seemed
to combine nearly all the requisites that could be desired in an
elementary treatise; and a translation of it would probably, ere
this, have been given to the American public, had we not been
led to expect the work of Professor Cleaveland, which, it was
anticipated, would at least possess one important advantage over
the work of Brongniart, and every other; it would exhibit, more
or less extensively, _American localities_, and give the leading
features of our natural mineral associations.

Thus it appears[8] that the work of Professor Cleaveland was
eminently needed; the science, at large, needed it; and to American
mineralogists it was nearly indispensable. It appeared too at a
very opportune moment. Had it come a few years sooner, it might
not have found many readers. Now it is sustained by the prevailing
curiosity, and diffused state of information regarding mineralogy;
and, in turn, no cause could operate more effectually to cherish
this curiosity, and to diffuse this information still more widely,
than this book. Professor Cleaveland is therefore entitled to our
thanks for undertaking this task; and, in this age of book-making,
it is no small negative praise if an author be acquitted of
_unnecessarily_ adding to the already onerous mass of books.

With respect to the PLAN of this work, Professor Cleaveland has,
with good judgment, availed himself of the excellencies of both the
German and French schools.

Mr. Werner, of Fribourg, in some sense not only the founder of
the modern German school of mineralogy, but almost of the science
itself, is entitled to our lasting gratitude for his system of
external characters, first published in 1774. In this admirable
treatise he has combined precision and copiousness, so that exact
ideas are attached to every part of the descriptive language, and
every character is meant to be defined.

It is intended that a full description of a mineral upon this
plan shall entirely exhaust the subject, and that although many
properties may be found in common among different minerals, still
every picture shall contain _peculiar_ features, not to be found
in any other. It would certainly appear, at first view, that this
method must be perfect, and leave nothing farther to be desired. It
has, however, been found in practice, that the full descriptions of
the Wernerian writers are heavy and dry; they are redundant also,
from the frequent repetition of similar properties; and from not
giving due prominence to those which are peculiar, and therefore
distinctive, they frequently fail to leave a distinct impression
of any thing on the mind, and thus, in the midst of what is called
by the writers of this school a full _oryctognostic picture_, a
student is sometimes absolutely bewildered.

Some of the modern French writers, availing themselves of Mr.
Werner's very able delineation of the external characters of
minerals, have selected such as are most important, most striking,
distinctive, and interesting; and drawing a spirited and bold
sketch, have left the minuter parts untouched: such a picture,
although less perfect, often presents a stronger likeness, and more
effectually arrests the attention.

This is the method of description which has been, as we think,
_happily_ adopted, to a great extent by Mr. Cleaveland.

Mr. Werner, availing himself of the similarities in the external
appearance of minerals, has (excepting the metals) _arranged_
them also upon this plan, without regard to their constitution;
that is, _to their real nature_, or, at least, making this wholly
subservient to the other: this has caused him, in some instances,
to bring together things which are totally unlike in their
nature, and, in other instances, to separate those which were
entirely similar. Whatever may be said in favour of such a course,
considered as a provisional one, while chemical analysis was in its
infancy, the mind can never rest satisfied with any arrangement
which contradicts the real nature of things; in a word, the
composition of minerals is the only correct foundation for their
classification. This classification has been adopted by several of
the ablest modern French writers.

"It is believed," (says Professor Cleaveland, Preface, p. 7.) "that
the more valuable parts of the two systems may be incorporated, or,
in other words, that the peculiar descriptive language of the one
may, in a certain degree, be united to the accurate and scientific
arrangement of the other.

"This union of descriptive language and scientific arrangement has
been effected with good success, by BRONGNIART, in his System of
Mineralogy--an elementary work, which seems better adapted both to
interest and instruct, than any which has hitherto appeared. The
author of this volume has, therefore, adopted the _general_ plan of
Brongniart, the more important parts of whose work are, of course,
incorporated with this."

A happier model could not, in our opinion, be chosen; and we
conceive that Professor Cleaveland is perfectly consistent, and
perfectly perspicuous, when, adopting the chemical composition of
minerals as the only proper foundation of arrangement, and, of
course, rejecting the principle of Mr. Werner, which arranges them
upon their external properties, he still adopts his _descriptive_
language as far as it answers his purpose. For to elect a principle
of arrangement, and to classify all the members of a system so as
to give each its appropriate place, is obviously quite a different
thing from describing each member, after its place in a system is
ascertained. In doing the latter, characters may be drawn from any
source which affords them.

In his "Introduction to the Study of Mineralogy," the author
has given a view at once copious, condensed, and perspicuous,
of all that is necessary to be learned previously to the study
of particular minerals. He begins with definitions and general
principles, which are laid down with clearness.

By way of engaging the attention to the study of this department of
nature, he remarks:

"From a superficial view of minerals in their natural depositories,
at or near the surface of the earth, it would hardly be expected
that they could constitute the object of a distinct branch of
science. Nothing appears farther removed from the influence of
established principles and regular arrangement, than the mineral
kingdom when observed in a cursory manner. But a closer inspection
and more comprehensive view of the subject will convince us, that
this portion of the works of nature is by no means destitute of the
impress of the Deity. Indications of the same wisdom, power, and
benevolence, which appear in the animal and vegetable kingdoms, are
also clearly discernible in the mineral."

"It may also be remarked," continues the author, "that several
arts and manufactures depend on mineralogy for their existence;
and that improvements and discoveries in the latter cannot fail
of extending their beneficial effects to the aforementioned
employments. In fine, the study of mineralogy, whether it be viewed
as tending to increase individual wealth, to improve and multiply
arts and manufactures, and thus promote the public good; or as
affording a pleasant subject for scientific research, recommends
itself to the attention of the citizen and scholar."

This introductory view of the importance and interest of the
science cannot be charged with the fault of exaggeration, since it
is most evident that neither civilization, refinement in arts, nor
comfort, can exist where the properties of mineral substances are
but imperfectly understood.

As regards this country, the argument admits of much amplification.
The more our mineral treasures are explored, the more abundantly
do they repay the research; and we trust that the period is not
far distant, when we shall no longer ignorantly tread under our
feet minerals of great curiosity and value, and import from other
countries, at a great expense, what we, in many instances, possess
abundantly at home.[9]

But to return to the plan of the author's work. Few persons,
unacquainted with the science of mineralogy, would suspect that
mere brute matter could exhibit many strong marks, capable of

It may, however, be confidently affirmed, that there is no mineral
which, if carefully studied, may not be distinguished by characters
sufficiently decisive from every other mineral; an account of these
characters ought, therefore, to precede every system of mineralogy.
Professor Cleaveland has, with entire propriety, included them
under the heads of crystallography, physical and external
characters, and chemical characters.

He has given a clear view of the Abbé Haüy's curious discoveries
regarding the six primitive figures or solids which form the bases
of all crystals--the three integrant particles or molecules which
constitute the primitive forms, and of the theory by which it is
shown how the immensely numerous and diversified secondary or
actual forms arise out of these few elementary figures.

This is certainly one of the most singular and acute discoveries
of our age. It is true, there is a difference of opinion among
mineralogists as to the practical use of crystallography in the
discrimination of minerals. Some dwell upon it with excessive
minuteness, and others seem restless and impatient of its details.
The truth seems to be, that those who understand it, derive from
it (wherever it is applicable) the most satisfactory aid; and it
requires only a moderate knowledge of geometry to understand its
principal outlines. On the other hand, it is no doubt possible,
in most instances, to dispense with its aid, and to discriminate
minerals by their other properties.

Of the external and physical characters of Mr. Werner, Mr.
Cleaveland has given a clear account, combining into the same
view the fine discriminations of the French authors, particularly
regarding refraction, phosphorescence, specific gravity,
electricity, chatoyement, and magnetism. The same may be said of
the chemical characters. We do not know a more satisfactory and
able view of the characters of minerals than Professor Cleaveland
has exhibited.

We would however ask, whether, in enumerating the kinds of lustre,
the term _adamantine_ should not be explained, as it is not
understood by people in general, while the terms denoting the other
kinds are _generally_ intelligible; whether in the enumeration of
imitative forms, _lenticular_ and _acicular_ should not rather be
referred to the laws of crystallization; whether _reniform_ and
_mamillary_ are synonymous; whether _sandstone_, as being a mere
aggregate of _fragments_, is a good instance of the _granular_
fracture; whether in its natural state (at least the common ore of
nickel) is _ever_ magnetic, till _purified_, and whether cobalt is
_ever_ magnetic unless _impure_.

Professor Cleaveland's remarks on _fracture_ are uncommonly
discriminating and instructive, and would lead a learner to a just
comprehension of this important point in the characters of minerals.

The section relating to the _chemical characters_ is concise,
and professedly proceeds upon the principle of selection. It
might perhaps have been, to some extent, advantageously enlarged;
although, it is true, the author refers us to the particular
minerals for individual instances; still it might have been well
to have illustrated the general principles by a few well-chosen
instances, _e. g._ how, by the blowpipe, _galena_ is distinguished
from _sulphuret of antimony_; _carbonat of lead_ from _sulphat
of barytes_, or _carbonat of lime_; _garnet_ from _titanium_;
_plaster of Paris_ from _soapstone_, &c.; and, among trials in
the moist way, how by nitric acid and ammonia, _iron pyrites_ is
distinguished from _copper pyrites_; and how, by acids, _sulphat
of lime_ is known from _carbonat of lime_. As the acids are used
principally for trials on the effervescence of carbonats, most of
which form with sulphuric acid, insoluble compounds, we should
doubt whether sulphuric acid is so advantageously employed as the
nitric or muriatic, in such cases, on account of the clogging of
the effervescence by the thick magena, produced by a recently
precipitated and insoluble sulphat.

According to our experience, the nitric or muriatic acid, diluted
with two or three parts of water, is most eligible.

With respect to the blowpipe: it is _a convenience_ to have a
mouth-piece of wood, or ivory, joined to a tube of metal, as
Mr. Cleaveland recommends; and some authors direct to have the
tube attached to a hollow ball, for the sake of condensing the
moisture of the breath; but every thing which adds to the expense
and complication of the instrument will tend to discourage its
use; we have never found any difficulty in performing every
important experiment with the common goldsmith's brass blowpipe;
and are confident, that, after the learner has acquired the art,
or _knack_, of propelling a continued stream of air from his
mouth, by means of the muscles of the lips and cheeks, while his
respiration proceeds without embarrassment through the nostrils,
he will need no other instrument than the common blowpipe. Indeed
it is a truly admirable instrument, instantly giving us the effect
of very powerful furnaces, the heat being entirely under command,
the subject of operation and all the changes in full view, and the
expense and bulk of the instrument being such that every one may
possess it, and carry it about his person.

The chapter on the principles of arrangement is worthy of all
praise. This difficult subject is here discussed with such
clearness, comprehensiveness, and candour, as prove the author to
be completely master of his subject; and we are persuaded, that,
on this topic, no author can be studied with more advantage.
We forbear to extract, because the whole should be attentively
perused in connexion, and scarcely admits of abridgement. We
entirely agree with Professor Cleaveland, as we have already
said, that the chemical composition of minerals is the only just
foundation of their arrangement; that next in importance is the
crystalline structure, including a knowledge of the primitive
form, and integrant molecule; and last and least important, _in
fixing the arrangement_, are the external characters: these
last should be only provisionally employed, where the two first
are not ascertained, or the second is not applicable. When the
arrangement is once made, we _may_, however, and we commonly
_shall_, in _describing_ minerals, pursue precisely the reverse
order; the external characters will usually be mentioned first,
the crystalline characters next, and the chemical last of all. In
description, the external characters are often the most valuable;
if judiciously selected and arranged, they will always prove of the
most essential service, and can rarely be entirely dispensed with.

With regard to the NOMENCLATURE of minerals, we feelingly unite
with Professor Cleaveland in deploring the oppressive redundancy
of synonymes. Few minerals have only one name, and usually they
have several. With Count Bournon we agree, that the discoverer of
a mineral has the exclusive right of naming it, and that the name
once given should not be changed without the most cogent reasons.
What then shall we say of the ABBÉ HAÜY, of whom, whether we
speak of his genius, his learning, his acuteness, his discoveries,
his candour, and love of truth, or his universally amiable and
venerable character, we can never think without sentiments of the
highest respect and admiration? More than any modern writer he has
added to the list of synonymes, often exchanging a very good name,
derived perhaps from the locality or discoverer of a mineral, for
one professedly significant, but connected with its subject by a
chain of thought so slight, that considerable knowledge of Greek
etymology, and still more explanation, is necessary to comprehend
the connexion; and thus, after all, it amounts, with respect to
most readers, only to the exchange of one arbitrary name for
another. What advantage, for instance, has _grammatite_, alluding
to a line often obscure, and still oftener wholly invisible,
over the good old name _tremolite_, which always reminds us of
an interesting locality; how is _pyroxene_ better than _augite_,
_amphibole_ than _hornblende_, _amphigene_ than _leucite_, or
_disthene_ than _sappar_. Some of the Abbé Haüy's names are,
however, very happily chosen, especially where new discriminations
were to be established, or errors corrected, or even a redundant
crop of synonymes to be superseded by a better name. _Epidote_
is an instance of the latter, and the new divisions of the old
_zeolite family_ into four species, _mesotype_, _stilbite_,
_analcime_, and _chabasie_, afford a happy instance of the
former. It were much to be wished, that by the common consent of
mineralogists, one nomenclature should be universally adopted: for
its uniformity is of much more importance than its nature.

In expressing our approbation of the principles of arrangement
adopted by Professor Cleaveland, we have of course espoused those
of his TABULAR VIEW, which is perhaps as nearly as the state of
science will admit, erected upon a chemical basis, like that of
Brongniart, to which it bears a close resemblance. Some of the
subordinate parts, we could have wished had been arranged in a
manner somewhat different. In the genus lime, it appears to us
better to describe the species carbonat first; because, being very
abundant, and its characters clear, it forms a convenient point
of departure and standard of comparison, in describing the other
species which have lime for their basis, and some of which are
comparatively rare. The same remark we would make upon quartz, and
its concomitant, pure silicious stones. There appears to us a high
advantage in making these minerals clearly known first, before we
proceed to those which are much more rare, and especially which
are much harder, and possess the characters of gems. For example,
if a learner has become acquainted with quartz, chalcedony, flint,
opal, chrysoprase, and jasper, he will much more easily comprehend
the superior hardness, &c. and different composition of topaz,
sapphire, spinelleruby, chrysoberyl, and zircon, which we should
much prefer to see occupying a later, than the first place in a
tabular arrangement; and, although topaz, by containing fluoric
acid, appears to be in some measure assimilated to saline minerals,
it is in its characters so very diverse from the earthy salts,
that we have fair reason to conclude that the fluoric acid does
not stamp the character; and, as it bears so close a resemblance
to the ruby and sapphire, which evidently derive their principal
characters from the argillaceous earth, we perhaps ought to infer
that this (the topaz,) does so too. Indeed Professor Cleaveland has
sufficiently implied his own opinion, by giving these minerals a
juxtaposition in his table, although the same reasons which induced
the placing of the topaz next to the earthy salts, could not have
justified the placing of the sapphire there. On these points we are
not, however, strenuous; they are of more importance if the work
be used as a text-book for lectures, than as a private companion.
With respect to the _completeness_ of Professor Cleaveland's
tabular view, we have carefully compared it with the third edition
of Jameson's mineralogy; and although a few new species, or
sub-species, and varieties have been added in this last edition,
they are in general of so little importance, that Professor
Cleaveland's work cannot be considered as materially deficient; and
the few cases in which it is so, are much more than made up by his
entirely new and instructive views of American mineralogy, to which
no parallel is to be found in any other book, and which give it
peculiar interest to the American, and even to the European, reader.

In another edition, (which we cannot doubt will speedily be called
for,) he will of course add whatever is omitted in this, and we
should be gratified to see a good article on the subject of the
ærolites or stones which have fallen from the atmosphere. This
subject is one, in our view, of high interest; and although _in
strictness_ it may not claim a place in a tabular view of minerals,
(we must confess, however, that we see no important obstacle to its
being treated of under the head of native iron,) there can be no
objection to its being placed in an appendix. The fall of stones
from the atmosphere is the most curious and mysterious fact in
natural history.

It may seem perhaps too trivial to remark, that the annexation of
numbers, referring to the pages, would be a serious addition to
the utility of the tabular view. Very few inadvertencies have been
observed--the following may be mentioned: _Amenia_, in the State of
New-York, is printed (by a typographical error we presume) Armenia;
and _Menechan_, where the menechanite is found, is mentioned as
occurring in Scotland, but it is in Cornwall.

Authors seem agreed that the black-lead ore is an altered carbonat,
but they seem not to have been so well agreed as to the nature
of the blue-lead ore. In the cabinet of Colonel Gibbs, there are
specimens which appear satisfactorily to illustrate both these
subjects. The black-lead is by the blowpipe alone reducible to
metallic lead; there is one specimen in the cabinet referred
to, which is blackened on what appears to have been the under
side, and seemingly by the contact of sulphuretted hydrogen gas;
that which was probably the upper part remains unaltered, and is
beautiful white carbonat of lead; this appearance is the more
striking, because the piece is large and full of interstices, by
which the gas appears to have passed through. The blue ore is in
large six-sided prisms of a dark blue or almost black colour; where
the prisms are broken across, they present an unequal appearance;
sometimes they are _invested_; and sometimes slightly, and at
other times deeply, _penetrated_ by sulphuret of lead, having
the usual brilliant foliated fracture. The part which looks like
sulphuret of lead is easily reducible by the blowpipe, but not the
whole crystal, as authors appear to imply; for if that part of the
crystal which does not present the appearance of galena is heated
by the blowpipe flame, it is not reduced, but congeals into the
garnet dodecahedron, with its colour unaltered: these crystals
are therefore phosphat of lead, and they appear to be either an
original mixture of phosphat and sulphuret of lead, or the phosphat
has somehow in part given up its phosphoric acid, and assumed in
its stead sulphur, perhaps from the decomposition of sulphuretted

Professor Cleaveland will, of course, add new localities, even
foreign ones, where they are interesting, and domestic ones, where
they are well authenticated. Among the former, we trust he will
mention the lake of sulphuric acid contained in the crater of
Mount Idienne, in the Province of Bagnia Vangni, in the eastern
part of Java, and also the river of sulphuric acid which flows
from it and kills animals, scorches vegetation, and corrodes the
stones.[10] Among American localities, we beg leave to mention
violet fluor spar, abundant and very handsome, near Shawnee Town,
on the Ohio, in the Illinois Territory, and galena, of which this
fluor is the gangue;--sulphat of magnesia, perfectly crystallized,
in masses composed of delicate white prisms, in a cave in the
Indiana Territory, not very remote from Louisville, in Kentucky;
it is said to be so abundant that the inhabitants carry it away by
the wagon load;--pulverulent carbonat of magnesia, apparently pure,
found by Mr. Pierce at Hoboken, in serpentine, where the hydrate of
magnesia was found;--chabasie, agates, chalcedony, amethyst, and
analcime, at Deerfield, by Mr. E. Hitchcock;--agates in abundance
at East-Haven, near New-Haven, in secondary greenstone, like
the above-named minerals at Deerfield;--saline springs, covered
with petroleum, and emitting large volumes of inflammable gases,
numerous in New-Connecticut, south of Lake Erie;--magnetical
pyrites, abundant in the bismuth vein, at Trumbull,
Connecticut:--very brilliant fine-grained micaceous iron, in large
masses near Bellows' Falls; yellow foliated blende, in Berlin,
Connecticut, and near Hamilton College--the latter discovered by
Professor Noyes; it is in veins in compact limestone;--red oxid
of titanium, often geniculated, at Leyden, in Massachusetts,
discovered by Mr. E. Hitchcock;--red oxid of titanium, in very
large crystals and geniculated, imbedded in micaceous schistus, at
Oxford, 20 miles north from New-Haven;--silicious petrifactions of
wood, abundant in the island of Antigua, recently brought by Mr.
Pelatiah Perit, of New-York;--sulphuret of molybdena, at Pettipaug,
and at East-Haddam, Connecticut;--prehnite abundant and beautiful,
in secondary greenstone, at Woodbury, 24 miles north of New-Haven,
discovered by Mr. Elijah Baldwin;--black oxid of manganese, in
great abundance, and of an excellent quality, near Bennington,
Vermont, and plumose mica, in a very fine graphic granite, in a
hill two miles north of Watertown, Connecticut.

The introduction to the STUDY OF GEOLOGY, deserves a more extended
series of remarks than it would now be proper to make, after so
full a consideration of the previous parts of the work.

Professor Jameson's elaborate exposition of the Wernerian system,
is too full, and too much devoted to a particular system, for
beginners: the sketches of geology contained in the systems of
Chemistry by Murray and Thomson, and in Phillips's mineralogy,
are too limited, although useful: the excellent account of
the Wernerian system, contained in an Appendix to Brochant's
Mineralogy, has, we believe, never been translated; and we need
not say that Professor Playfair's illustrations of the Huttonian
Theory, De Luc's Geology, and Cuvier's Geology, are not well
adapted to the purposes of a beginner; neither is Delametherie's,
nor has it been translated. An introduction to geology was,
therefore, hardly less needed than one to mineralogy. Professor
Cleaveland has performed this difficult duty with great ability,
and has brought this interesting branch of science fairly within
the reach of our students.

Although adhering substantially to the Wernerian arrangement of
rocks, he has, so to speak, blended Werner's three classes of
primitive, transition, and secondary rocks, into one class; and
where the same rock occurs in all the three classes, or in two of
them, he mentions it in giving the history of the particular rock.
This method simplifies the subject very much to the apprehensions
of a learner. A rigid Wernerian would probably revolt at it, but
the distinctions of Mr. Werner may still be pointed out, and, we
should think, ought to be, at least by all teachers.

In Mr. Cleaveland's account of the trap rocks, we should almost
imagine that some typographical error had crept into the following

"But in modern geological inquiries, the word trap is usually
employed to designate a _simple mineral_, composed of hornblende
nearly or quite pure, and also those aggregates in which
_hornblende_ predominates. Hence, the _presence_ of hornblende, as
a predominating ingredient, characterizes those MINERALS to which
most geologists apply the name _trap_."

Now, it is not accordant with our apprehensions that trap is ever
at the present time employed to designate a _simple mineral_, nor
has Professor Cleaveland himself used it in his tabular view, or
in his description of simple minerals. In our view, it is the
_classical_ word of modern geology, to designate that description
of rocks in which hornblende predominates, and perhaps a few others
of minor importance usually associated with them. It is true, a
rock composed of pure hornblende may be called trap, but it is not
true, _vice versa_, that this rock, considered in its character of
a simple mineral, is called trap. If our views are correct, the
section which is headed _trap_ or _hornblende_, should be _trap_ or
_hornblende rocks_, and greenstone should come in as a subdivision,
and not form a distinct section. With these alterations, and with
the substitution of rock in the _first_, and rocks in the _second_
instance, in the paragraph above quoted, instead of _mineral_ and
_minerals_, we apprehend the view of this family of rocks would
be much more clear, and a degree of confusion, which learners now
experience from the paragraph, would be prevented. If we are wrong,
we are sure Professor Cleaveland will pardon us; if right, his
candour will readily admit the correction.

As to the manner in which the work of Professor Cleaveland is
executed, the remarks which we already made, have in a good degree
anticipated this head.

We cannot, however, dismiss the subject without adding that, in our
opinion, this work does honour to our country, and will greatly
promote the knowledge of mineralogy and geology, besides aiding
in the great work of disseminating a taste for science generally.
Our views of the plan we have already detailed. The manner of
execution is masterly. Discrimination, perspicuity, judicious
selection of characters and facts, and a style chaste, manly,
and comprehensive, are among the characteristics of Professor
Cleaveland's performance. It has brought within the reach of
the American student the excellencies of Kirwan, Jameson, Haüy,
Brochant, Brongniart, and Werner; and we are not ashamed to have
this work compared with their productions. In our opinion Professor
Cleaveland's work ought to be introduced into all our schools of
mineralogy, and to be the travelling companion of every American

We trust that all cultivators of mineralogy and geology in this
country, will willingly aid Professor Cleaveland in enlarging his
list of American localities for a second edition; and we hope
that he will repay them, at a future day, by giving us a distinct
treatise on geology, with as particular a delineation as possible
of the geological relations of the great North American formations.
Mr. Maclure has, with great ability, sketched the outline; but much
labour is still needed in filling up the detail.

ART. III. _New Locality of Fluor Spar, or Fluat of Lime and of
Galena, or Sulphuret of Lead._

Mr. Joseph Baldwin, formerly of Connecticut, now residing near
Shawnee Town, in the Illinois Territory, has given us some
interesting specimens of fluor spar. They are found not far from
Shawnee Town, on the banks of the Ohio; and a few miles below
where the Wabash joins the Ohio. The fluor forms the gangue of
a lead vein, and we have pieces in which the lead and fluor
are intimately blended. The lead ore is the common galena, or
sulphuret, with a broad, foliated, or laminated fracture, and a
high degree of metallic splendour. We reduced it to the metallic
state, and it yielded a large product of very soft lead. On
dissolving it in nitric acid, and applying the muriatic acid till
precipitation ceased, the precipitate formed was _all redissolved_
by boiling water; nor, when submitted to cupellation did the lead
leave any thing upon the cupel. We, therefore, conclude that it
contained no appreciable quantity of silver. It is said to be very
abundant at Shawnee Town.

The fluor spar is very beautiful. Its colours, chiefly, very deep
purple and violet; but still highly translucent; one specimen was
entirely limpid. Both kinds, when thrown in coarse powder, on a
red-hot shovel, in a dark place, phosphoresced, and the violet
specimens in a very striking manner. Of the violet kind, we have a
specimen nearly as large as a man's fist, which is perfectly pure
and sound, and appears to have been a single crystal; the natural
faces and angles were unfortunately obliterated by grinding on a
common grindstone. We have others which are decidedly crystals
of perfect regularity; cubes, and passages between the cube and
octahedron. In some of the specimens, the disposition of colours,
and the transmission of light is such as to show very clearly that
the octahedron lies in the centre, as the nucleus or primitive form.

The size and beauty of the specimens, and the abundance of this
mineral near Shawnee Town, (provided there is no mistake in the
case) clearly entitle this to be considered as the most interesting
American locality of this beautiful mineral. Measures have been
taken to investigate the subject more fully, and to obtain a supply
of specimens.

Quartz crystals appear to abound at the same place, besides various
other minerals.

ART. IV. _Carbonate of Magnesia, and very uncommon Amianthus,
discovered near New-York.--Extract of a Letter from Mr. James
Pierce to the Editor._

  _New-York, May 18, 1818._


I forward you specimens of straw and rose-coloured amianthus I
recently met with on Staten-Island, which I detached, in strips,
from a rock; it not appearing, as is usual, in veins. It breaks up
like flax, and may be spun and wove without the aid of moisture;
and in respect to tenacity, flexibility, and length of fibre, it
may be considered the best found in this country, and perhaps equal
to any hitherto discovered. Staten-Island exhibits many minerals
worthy of examination. I subjoin, as requested, the following
geological description, &c.

Hoboken, where I discovered native carbonate of magnesia, is
situated opposite the city of New-York, on the western or
New-Jersey bank of the Hudson. It is a primitive, insulated
elevation, with a nucleus of serpentine; the ground gradually
descends in every direction except on the river side, where mural
precipices of serpentine rock are observed, extending about 100
rods parallel with the water, and elevated from 60 to 100 feet
above its level. The carbonate of magnesia I found in horizontal
veins of nearly two inches in breadth, and of unknown depth, in a
midway region of this serpentine ledge; I extracted a considerable
quantity with a spoon. When first taken out it was soft, white, and
very slightly adhesive, from a little moisture; but, when dry, fell
to powder without friction. The nature of the mineral I immediately
conjectured, and treated it with diluted sulphuric acid, in which
it entirely dissolved with effervescence, forming a bitter fluid,
and leaving no sediment. Upon evaporation, well-defined crystals of
Epsom salts were formed. It differs little from the manufactured
carbonate of magnesia of the shops; but is rather a super than
a sub-carbonate. It has been analyzed by Professor Mitchill,
who found it exclusively composed of magnesia and carbonic acid.
Carbonates of magnesia, hitherto discovered, have been, I believe,
found impure, and in a state of rock, requiring chemical process to
render them serviceable; this is, perhaps, fit for immediate use.
When I first mentioned the discovery to mineralogists, they were
incredulous, supposing it did not natively exist in this state, but
I convinced them by uniting it with sulphuric acid.


The specimen of amianthus, referred to in Mr. Pierce's
communication, is uncommon. The fibres measure from 12 to 15 inches
in length, and are as soft and flexible as fine human hair.

It will be remembered, that in the rocks at Hoboken, Dr. Bruce
discovered the hydrate of magnesia, or magnesia combined with
nothing but water, in the proportion of about 70 per cent. of
magnesia. This discovery gave a new and interesting species to
mineralogy; it is now admitted in the systematical works on

Mr. Pierce's discovery is not less interesting; and we presume he
will be deemed correct in the opinion, that pure native carbonate
of magnesia has not been discovered before. The serpentine of
Hoboken, then, is memorable for affording these two new species.

ART. V. _Native Copper._

In Bruce's Journal, (Vol. I. p. 149.) mention is made of a
remarkable piece of native copper, found near New-Haven many years
ago, and weighing about 90lbs.

We have now to add, (and the fact is, indeed, mentioned in
Cleaveland's Mineralogy,) that another piece has been recently
found half a mile west of the Hartford turnpike road, opposite the
town of Wallingford, and twelve miles from New-Haven. It was turned
up in ploughing to repair a road. The country is of the secondary
trap formation, and the rocks, at the particular place, are the
old red sandstone of Werner, which here occupies the plains, and
runs under the trap. The piece weighs almost six pounds; it is
fine virgin copper, with rudiments of large octahedral crystals of
native copper upon its surface, which is more or less incrusted
with green carbonate of copper and ruby oxid, very much resembling
that of Cornwall: the ruby oxid is particularly remarkable in the
cavities of the piece.

As it was found within three or four miles of the place where the
large piece of ninety pounds weight was discovered, and as copper
is known to exist in many places in these hills, the facts should
be kept in view, and may lead to something of importance.

ART. VI. _Petrified Wood from Antigua._

The mineralogy and geology of the West-India islands has been,
as yet, but little explored. The scientific world has, however,
been favoured with some interesting articles from the pen of Dr.
Nugent; and we are informed that he has described also the geology
of the island of Antigua. We have recently become acquainted with
one interesting production of this island, and without waiting for
Dr. Nugent's account, (which we believe has not yet reached this
country) we shall lay it before our readers.

We are under obligations to Mr. Pelatiah Perit, of New-York, for
a collection of specimens of silicious petrifactions of wood from
Antigua. Their characters are indubitable; the distinct ligneous
layers corresponding with the annual growth, the medullary
prolongations, the knots formed by branches, the cracks and the
bark, are all distinctly visible. Some of the pieces are ponderous
portions of large trees.

As to the mineralizing matter, it is evidently silicious, and the
specimens are principally the holzstein of Werner; crystals of
quartz are apparent in the cavities; some parts are agatized, and
veins of chalcedony occasionally pervade the fissures: they are
not impressible by steel, and give fire with it. According to the
information of Mr. Perit, they are scattered over the surface of
the Island of Antigua, with a profusion hardly less than that which
Horneman observed of the same mineral during his travels over the
eastern part of the great African desert.

It is much to be wished that our numerous intelligent navigators
and travelling merchants would, in imitation of this and of a
similar example, mentioned below, bestow some share of their
attention on the natural productions of the countries which they
visit. In this way they might, on their return, render very
essential services to the science of their own country.

ART. VII. _Porcelain and Porcelain Clays._

Through the kind offices of a friend, we have been furnished,
from one of the great porcelain manufactories in the vicinity of
Paris, with a series of specimens, to illustrate the elegant art of
fabricating porcelain. The specimens begin with the raw materials,
and exhibit them in all their principal stages of advancement up
to the perfect vessel, including the materials for the glazing,
and the colours for the painting, and the application of both.
At the request of the manufacturer, through whose liberality we
were indulged with this gratification, we transmitted to Paris
various specimens of American porcelain clays. This gentleman has
caused them to be subjected to trials in the porcelain furnaces,
and he finds that some of them are equal to the French porcelain
clays, and some superior. As our specimens were all labelled with
the names of the places, in this country, from which they were
obtained, we hope soon to learn where to look for porcelain clays,
equal or superior to those celebrated ones from which the superb
French porcelain is manufactured.

As this subject is one of much practical importance to the rising
arts of this country, and as much interest has been excited in
Paris concerning our porcelain clays, we should feel greatly
obliged by the transmission to us of any specimens of American
porcelain clays, with memoranda of the place, the quantity,
the depth at which obtained, the difficulty of obtaining, and,
generally, all the peculiar circumstances. We will take care that
their value shall be ascertained, if they appear promising, and a
proper return shall be made to the proprietor.

To those of our readers who may not be familiar with this subject,
we would however take the liberty to remark, that porcelain clays
generally arise from the decomposition of granite, and particularly
of that kind which is denominated graphic granite, and which
abounds with feldspar. It is, therefore, in the primitive countries
that we are chiefly to expect them--such as New-England, and part
of the high country of the middle and southern states.

It should be observed, that if a clay, otherwise apparently good,
burns red, it contains iron, and is unfit for porcelain; although
it may serve well enough for more common and coarse earthen ware.

ART. VIII. _Native Sulphur from Java._

Through the kindness of Mr. I. Huntington, recently returned from
Java, we have received from that Island some fine specimens of
native sulphur. They are very pure, of an orange yellow, slightly
shaded with white, and occasionally with red; some of the cavities
are lined with delicate crystals. What gives them particular
interest is, that they are believed to be from that "large, and
now nearly extinct, volcano, about sixty miles from the town
of Batavia, at the bottom of which (of the crater) lie large
quantities of native sulphur, even many hundred tons." It is in
the crater of this volcano that the famous lake of sulphuric acid
exists, and from which it flows down the mountain, and through the
country below, a river of the same acid. (See Tilloch's Phil.
Mag. Vol. XLII. p. 182.) It is a most curious phenomenon, and we
believe entirely without a parallel. Another river, called the
White River, unites with this some miles below its origin: this
river, which is so called from the turbidness of its waters, its
salutary to men and animals; fishes live in it, and vegetation is
nourished by its waters; but after the junction it becomes clear;
the acid dissolving the earthy particles which discoloured it, and
it now becomes fatal to living beings: kills the fish, destroys the
vegetation, and corrodes the stones in its channel. This remarkable
river flows from Mount Idienne, in the province of Bagnia Vangni,
in the eastern part of Java.

ART. IX. _Productions of Wier's Cave, in Virginia._

We are indebted to the Reverend Elias Cornelius, and to Mr. John H.
Kain, for a collection of the calcareous incrustations of Wier's
Cave, in Virginia.

The stalactites, and stalagmites, and various incrustations, are of
uncommon size and beauty. Some of the stalactites have a delicate
whiteness, and a brilliancy arising from their crystallized
structure, which, with the regularity of their forms, give them a
fair title to rank with those of the famous caverns in the Peak of
Derbyshire, in the island of Antiparos, &c.

In these stalactites, the structure is most remarkably distinct,
both in the fibrous and concentric lamellar form. In this
collection were observed many forms of the crystallized hard
carbonates of lime, of Count Bournon.

For a description of the cavern from which these specimens came, we
refer to the succeeding memoir, by Mr. Kain.

ART. X. _Remarks on the Mineralogy and Geology of the Northwestern
part of the State of Virginia, and the Eastern part of the State of
Tennessee._ By Mr. JOHN H. KAIN, of Tennessee.

The most prominent as well as the most beautiful feature of this
country, is that succession of mountain and valley, ridge and vale,
which we meet with in traversing its surface. The grand range of
Alleghany mountains enters Virginia about the 39th degree of north
latitude; and, pursuing a southwestern course, spreads out upon the
east end of Tennessee, and terminates near the southern boundary
line of that state, in the Alabama territory; and about the 34th
parallel of north latitude. In this view are included the Blue
Mountains, the North Mountains, the Allegheny, (properly so called)
the Cumberland, Clinch, Iron, and Smoky mountains, together with
a variety of smaller mountains, spurs, and ridges, all running
parallel to each other, from the northeast to the southwest; and
all, I believe I may say, covered with forests, and presenting to
the eye of the naturalist a most interesting field for speculation
and improvement.

With a few exceptions, the geologist meets with none of those
remarkable appearances which indicate the changes and convulsions
which have been wrought by time, the great enemy of nature.
Occasionally we are presented with a view of a sublime precipice,
formed by a section which a river appears to have made for itself
through an opposing mountain; and the large masses of ruins, which
lie scattered around such a place, seem, to the imagination of the
solitary traveller, the historical records of commotions, awful
even in retrospect. Most commonly, however, the mountains seem to
have lain for ages in undisturbed repose; and the streams of water,
when they have crossed them, have sought an easy passage through
the ravines, which do not so often divide a mountain, or ridge, at
right angles, as wind between the ends of two opposing spurs, which
pass each other, gradually declining into the champaign country at
their mutual base. Through this whole extent of country we rarely
meet with any remarkable falls of water; the obvious reason of
which is, that the rocks are so soft that they are easily worn down
to the level of the beds of rivers. But shoals, or shallows, are
frequent, and are formed by beds of rounded sandstone, spread out
into a broad base, over which the water often rushes with no small
violence and noise.

The mountains are generally, though not always, sterile, and
produce nothing but forest trees; but the valleys are, with hardly
an exception, rich, and productive of every variety of "grass and
herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree yielding fruit." Nor are they
less favoured in the mineral kingdom; possessing the greatest
abundance of all the most useful and necessary minerals, of which
we shall now proceed to speak in order.

All the country included under the boundaries mentioned above,
with the exception of some primitive ranges of mountains on the
southeastern side, is apparently _transition_. This, it will be
seen by a reference to Mr. Maclure's excellent map, will extend the
boundary of his transition class considerably farther northwest,
and make it include Cumberland Mountain and all East Tennessee.
This would be evident from comparing the northwestern part of
Virginia, which Mr. Maclure has included in his transition tract
with all East Tennessee. Every mineralogist must observe the
identity of the minerals of the two countries as well as that of
their stratification and general formation. The limestone in the
valleys, and the sandstone on the mountains, lie in strata which
make an angle of from 25 to 45 degrees with the horizon. The
limestone bears the impressions of shells, but rarely, if ever, of
vegetables, and contains beds of hornstone, but not of flint, or
what can properly be called flint.

The rock which lies in the lowest valleys, and often rises into
pretty high hills, and is seen forming bluffs on the banks of the
rivers, is _limestone_: it is of a dark blue, approaching to a
gray, as it is exposed to the air, and often appearing quite white.
Its fracture is compact in one direction; in another it is more
or less slaty in its structure. It is interspersed with veins of
the crystallized carbonate of lime, more or less perfect, and of a
pure but opaque white. Another variety of this limestone, not so
abundant, is that which is white and red, having the white and red
spots intimately mingled. Its structure is similar to the other

Lying in beds of this limestone, parallel to, and imbedded in, its
strata, is a stone, which, from its globular form, its hardness,
and its colour, has been usually mistaken for flint. On comparing
it with the flint of chalk-beds, we find it much less translucent,
its colour darker, and its hues duller; and its rough and irregular
fracture, compared with the easy, smooth, and conchoidal cleavage
of the true flint, decides it to be hornstone. It is found also
forming considerable distinct beds on the hills; and is seen in
detached pieces, and irregular pebbles, covering many of the ridges.

Alternating with the beds of limestone, and possessing the same
formation, is a soft _clay slate_. _Soapstone_ is found in it.

As soon as we ascend the mountains, we meet with a slaty sand-stone
of various compactness, as it possesses more or less iron, often
forming an excellent iron ore. A variety of this iron ore has been
lately turned to a good use, in the manufacture of a red paint,
near Knoxville, Tennessee. Different varieties of this sandstone
possess different qualities. It is converted by the inhabitants
into millstones, grindstones, and whetstones. Interspersed among
the sandstone of the mountains we often find very beautiful and
interesting specimens of hornstones, assuming a resemblance to all
the silicious stones, from the chalcedony to the jasper. In this
extensive range of mountains, many other minerals exist, of which
we shall treat more particularly hereafter. The limestone, slate,
and sandstone, as far as the writer's knowledge extends, so to
speak, _form the country_; the limestone and clay slate dipping
under the sandstone. Gypsum, coal, sulphate of barytes, &c. are
found in these, and we shall now speak of their localities.

_Gypsum._--This valuable mineral production exists in Washington
County, Virginia, 20 miles north of Abingdon, in the vicinity of
Saltville. It is similar, in every respect, to the plaster of Nova
Scotia, and devoted by the farmers of that part of Virginia, and
Tennessee, to similar purposes.

_Coal_ is said to exist in immense quantities in the Cumberland
Mountain. A bed of it is wrought near Knoxville, Tennessee. It is
of an excellent quality; but wood is so abundant that it is used
only in forges.

_Sulphate of Barytes._--This mineral is found in Bottetourt County,
Virginia, near Fincastle; and in Sevier County, Tennessee.

_Hard Carbonates of Lime._--Stalactitical concretions abound in
all the caves so often described as existing in this country.
Those of Virginia are more perfectly crystallized than those of
Tennessee. Under the head of _hard carbonates_ should be mentioned
an extensive bed or vein in Montgomery County in the State of
Virginia, near the seat of Colonel Hancock. It appears to have
been formed in a chasm, in the common limestone of the country,
by a calcareous deposition which resembles, exactly, in all its
characters, the calcareous concretions which are found forming in
the caves of the country. The whole bed may, in fact, be regarded
as a cave which has been filled up in the progress of time, by this
curious process. Its width is various, from two feet to ten, or
more, extending along the side of a very steep ridge, for at least
50 yards, and it is said to be continued seven miles farther.

_The silicious carbonate of lime_ may be worth distinguishing from
the common limestone. It is found in a bed near Colonel Hancock's,
and was supposed to be gypsum. It phosphoresces beautifully; it is
white, and confusedly crystalline in its structure, and much harder
than the common limestone. Indeed the limestone generally, on the
east of the Alleghany, is somewhat harder than that on the west.

_Lead._--There are several localities of this mineral. A mine of it
is wrought near New River, 15 miles from Wythe, Virginia. Another
locality of the ore of lead is said to have been discovered in
Granger County, Tennessee, on land belonging to General Cocke.
It exists also, very near the surface, on the plantation of the
Rev. Mr. Craighead, near Nashville; which, however, is out of our

Other metallic ores are said to have been found among these
mountains, and particularly those of gold and silver; but the
accounts are vague and uncertain, and not to be credited.

The numerous _Caves_ of this country present attractions to every,
the least curious, traveller; and, in an eminent degree, to the
mineralogist. They are crevices, or large chasms, probably worn
in the rocks by the passage of water. This will, at first view,
perhaps appear a bold assertion; but if it be recollected that they
occur only in limestone, which is a soft rock, and (under certain
circumstances,) soluble in water; that the rocks bear every mark
of having been worn by water; and that streams of water are always
found in them, it will not appear an improbable hypothesis. It is
by no means difficult to believe that a stream, after having worn
such a chasm as a cave presents, in the solid rock, may have found
another channel; and, forsaking the old, have left room for nature
to display some of her most beautiful works. A description of one
of these caves will be a description of all; and we shall select
_Wier's Cave_, in Rockingham County, Virginia, as it is the most
curious of any with which we are acquainted.

The entrance of the cave is narrow and difficult. When the cave was
first discovered, the passage into it was impeded by stalactites,
which had formed perpendicular columns across it; but these are now
removed. As we advance, our course is at first horizontal, but we
soon descend fifteen or twenty feet by a ladder, and find ourselves
in a large echoing cavern. Stalactites of a silvery whiteness
are suspended from above, and pillars of stalagmites are rising
around us. Ledges of rocks form our floor, and the uneven walls
are incrusted over with a beautiful brown spar, which is sometimes
suspended from the canopy in thin, shining, and translucent sheets.
In passing on over the rugged rock of our pathway, our attention
is divided between a care for our safety, and an admiration of the
surrounding wonders.

Proceeding on through a narrower crevice in the rocks, we are soon
introduced into other apartments, differing in shape and size
from the first, but resembling it in the irregularity of its
walls, floor, and covering, and in the calcareous incrustations
and concretions, which, assuming a thousand fantastic shapes, and
displaying a sparkling lustre, the more vivid as the light is
stronger, give to this whole grotto the power of charming every

The cave is a mile and a half in extent, and extremely irregular in
its course and shape. Its perpendicular height varies from three
to forty feet, and its breadth from two to thirty. Its dividing
branches are numerous, forming a great variety of apartments. The
blue limestone appears frequently enough to satisfy us that it is
the groundwork of the whole; but it is almost every where covered
with incrustations of the hard carbonates. These hang from the
arched vault above in clusters, and often reach the ground, forming
massive columns. Stalagmites again rise from the floor like so
many statues; the irregular sides of the ledges of rocks are often
incrusted over with white crystals of the carbonate of lime, and
have the appearance of banks of salt: at times we seem to walk on
diamond pavements; again our footway is of rounded pebbles, and
seems the bed of a river which had deserted its channel. Often we
pass small streams of water; and the water is continually dripping
from the ends of the stalactites, the echoing sound of which, when
it drops, forms the only interruption to the profound silence which
reigns throughout the cavern.

To give an idea of the diversified shapes which these concretions
assume in the progress of their formation, (and they are constantly
forming,) would be impossible. Suffice it to say, that there is
scarcely any thing on earth to which they may not be supposed to
form a resemblance; and yet, in fact, they are unlike any thing but

It is generally known that the earth in these caves contains the
nitrates of lime, and potash, and other salts. The numerous caves
which have been found in the Cumberland mountains and other parts
of Tennessee, have been very productive of the nitrate of potash.
In the investigation of the causes which have given origin to these
salts, it may be recollected, that wild animals burrow in these
caves; that when pursued by the hunter, they make them the places
of their retreat, and probably die there; that the aborigines have
made them a place of burial; and that the streams of water which
flow through them in wet weather, carry with them not only great
quantities of leaves but many other vegetable productions.

The _natural bridge_ is celebrated as one of the greatest
curiosities of the world. Viewed by a geologist, it would probably
be considered as a cave (so to speak) _unroofed_ in all but one
place. It seems improbable that if the ravine had been made by a
convulsion, which had split and separated the rock to the distance
of fifty or sixty feet, any part of it, and particularly so large
a mass as that which forms the bridge, should have been left,
without exhibiting any marks of violence. The rock is limestone.
It is known that this rock wears away rapidly under the attrition
of water; and the supposition does not appear improbable, that, in
the lapse of ages, so large a creek as that which flows below the
bridge, may have worn as deep a ravine as that which now strikes
us with so much surprise, In short, may not a cave have been
originally formed where the ravine is now, and the pending portion
of it have fallen in at every place except that which now forms
this celebrated natural curiosity?

_Mineral Springs._--The mineral springs of this region are numerous
and diversified. Chalybeate springs are promiscuously scattered
over the whole of it; and springs impregnated with sulphuretted
hydrogen are quite common. Salt springs and licks are found more
in the western than the eastern range of mountains. That which was
first wrought by William King, is well known. The salt here is
associated with gypsum. In the same range of mountains, farther to
the southwest, there are now several other salt-works, and also
one to the west, on Goose Creek, in Kentucky, which has been very

_The Warm Springs._--These springs are situated in a country
which presents many attractions to the travelling geologist; and
much light, it is hoped, will yet be thrown on the geology of our
country, by a more minute and accurate examination of it than has
yet been made.

The warm springs ooze through the sand on the south bank of the
French Broad river, in the mountains which divide the state
of Tennessee from her parent state, about the 36th parallel of
latitude. The temperature of the water is about 95° of Fahrenheit.

On the opposite side of the river from the springs is a geological
curiosity. A limestone rock is seen dipping under the sandstone
which forms the country. Limestone is nowhere else to be seen
within six miles of this place. In this limestone rock is a cave
similar to others already described.

_Paint Rock_, in the vicinity of the Warm Springs, is interesting
on many accounts. It is a bold precipice on the bank of French
Broad river. At this place the river passes with a very rapid
current directly across the course of a mountain, which terminates
abruptly, and forms the precipice on the north bank of the river.
On looking at the rock, the opposite end of the mountain, and
the ruins around it, the mind is insensibly carried back to the
contemplation of some dreadful commotion in nature, which probably
shook these mountains to their bases.

The rock is composed of a _clay slate_; and it is here again
remarkable, that this stone is not to be seen in any other
place within some miles. It has received its name from some red
paintings, (probably left on it by the Indians,) which have the
appearance of hieroglyphics.

To conclude. It will be seen from the above observations, that this
country presents a vast field of most interesting research, and
claims the attention of every traveller who is interested at all in
geological inquiries. If what has been said will at all contribute
to the enlargement of the general stock of our knowledge on these
subjects, the writer will be much gratified; and it is his sincere
wish, that the accuracy of his remarks may be tried, and his
mistakes corrected, by the researches of succeeding travellers.

ART. XI. _Notice of Professor Mitchill's Edition of Cuvier's Essay
on the Theory of the Earth._

The American scientific public are under obligations to Professor
Mitchill for bringing this book within their reach. It is one of
the most eloquent, impressive, and instructive works on this grand
but obscure subject, with which the world has ever been favoured.
The reader is no sooner drawn within the current of Cuvier's
eloquence, than he is borne along almost without the power or wish
to escape. It is believed there are few intelligent and enlightened
persons, whether geologists or not, who would fail to be gratified
by a book which secures the understanding by a strict course of
reasoning from facts, and delights the taste by a style bold,
terse, and lucid, but at the same time rich and flowing.

The analysis of this work has been ably performed in Europe, and
there is, therefore, the less necessity to attempt it here. While
we take the liberty thus to recommend it, we do not hold ourselves
strictly bound to the admission of _every one_ of Cuvier's
doctrines; and might, perhaps, wish that in a few instances he had
been somewhat more explicit, or somewhat more qualified.

The additions by Professor Jameson, of Edinburgh, are valuable and
interesting, and are retained in the present edition.

Those by Professor Mitchill will be perused with pleasure and
advantage. The learned author has assembled, in one view, a
great mass of facts, partly resulting from his own journeys and
observations, and partly deduced from other respectable sources.
We have no doubt that most of these facts will be considered by
the scientific world as very interesting, whatever views they
may entertain of the conclusions built upon them. The author has
occupied himself principally upon those portions of the United
States, which, by the organized remains both of animals and
vegetables, with which they more or less abound, exhibit the most
decisive and interesting evidence of changes and catastrophes,
whose history is to be sought in the memorials entombed in the
strata themselves.

We give no opinion regarding the theories of Professor Mitchill,
not intending to review the work, but merely to aid, as far as
in our power, in drawing the public attention to the interesting
subjects about which it is occupied.

If we have any remark to add, it is, that an adherence to the
technical precision with which most rocks are at the present day
described, appears desirable in mineralogical and geological
descriptions. When in the valuable additions before us we read
of schorl rock, we gain only the idea of a rock containing that
mineral; but as it occurs occasionally in several of the primitive
rocks, we are at a loss which is intended; we believe it never
forms a rock by itself. So with the slate rocks: there are several
varieties of them--mica slate, clay slate, greenstone slate, &c.
besides some subdivisions; and the mere word slate does not always
give us the precise idea. But we are aware that, in the present
case, it was less in view to go into all the details of geological
description, than to give a view of our organized remains and of
their supposed origin.

ART. XII. _Notice of Eaton's Index to the Geology of the Northern
States, together with a Transverse Section of the Catskill Mountain
to the Atlantic._

The extensive collection of facts in this little book of fifty-four
pages, is creditable to the author's industry and discernment:
he informs us that he has travelled 1000 miles on foot, while
investigating the geology of the district concerning which he
has written. This district is certainly interesting, and every
attempt to diffuse correct information concerning it, deserves
encouragement. Mr. Eaton's account of the regions he has explored,
has every mark of verisimilitude; and we commend his efforts to
diffuse geological information, by short courses of lectures, in
different towns. In his arrangement of rocks, he has deviated from
Werner--has adopted some views of Bakewell, and some of his own.
Werner's arrangement of rocks has, undoubtedly, its imperfections
and its redundancies; and yet it may be questioned how far his
system has been really improved by its different emendators. If
Werner, by mentioning argillaceous schistus only in the primitive
class of rocks, left us to dispose of it where we might, when
we find it at one time, covering or sustaining anthracite, with
impressions of ferns, and at another with impressions of fish and
vegetables, and in contact with bituminous coal; still those who,
with Mr. Eaton, throw argillaceous slate into the transition class,
and omit it in the primitive and secondary, embarrass us with
an equal difficulty; for we find argillaceous slate in contact,
and alternating with, mica slate, and without any impressions of
organized bodies, when we must, without a doubt, call it primitive.

This is the fact with the clay slate of the Woodbridge hills,
near New-Haven, which is primitive; that of Rhode-Island, with
anthracite, is transition; and that at Middlefields, west of
Middletown, with impressions of fish, is secondary. Slate then
appears to belong to all these three great classes of rocks.

As to the _metalliferous_ limestone, we do not so much object to
the introduction of this term by Bakewell, although it appears
to us quite as well to say that certain limestones, those of the
transition class for example, are metalliferous. But is Eaton
correct in referring such limestone as that of which the New-York
City-Hall is built, to a metalliferous class? Is not that limestone
decidedly primitive? The fact mentioned of its containing pyrites,
hardly proves it to be metalliferous; since most rocks contain more
or less of pyrites. Some other remarks of less importance we might
add, but we prefer concluding by recommending this tract to the
perusal of those who wish for information respecting the geological
structure of New-England; and we think that Mr. Eaton is seriously
aiding the progress of geology in the interior of New-England.

ART. XIII. _Notice of M. Brongniart on Organized Remains._

This distinguished mineralogist, so advantageously known by his
excellent work on mineralogy--his researches in company with
Cuvier, into the subterranean geography of the environs of Paris,
and his superintendence of the great porcelain manufactory at
Sevres, is attempting to form an extensive collection of organized

Through Professor Cleaveland, we have received from him the


_Concerning the method of collecting, labelling, and transmitting
specimens of fossil organized bodies, and of the accompanying
rocks, solicited by_ M. BRONGNIART.

The study of fossil organized bodies appears to be of the utmost
importance in determining the relations of different formations,
one of the principal objects of geology.

In order more effectually to appreciate the value of this method
of investigation, it is necessary to multiply observations--to
endeavour to render them exact and precise--and especially to make
them upon a general plan.

M. Brongniart has been long occupied in such researches. The essay
published by M. Cuvier and him, upon the geology of the environs of
Paris, has afforded an example of their use.

He has laboured since this period to apply this method to other
formations, which contain the relics of organized bodies; but he
stands in need of much assistance, and he presumes to ask it, not
only of naturalists, but even of all persons interested in the
sciences. By means of the following instructions, he endeavours to
avail himself of the kindness of persons the least conversant in
the discrimination of fossils.

1. To collect all the fossil organized bodies which can be
obtained; especially _the distinguishable impressions and remains
of vegetables_ from coal countries, and beds of wood, coal, and
others. The _shells_, _crustaceæ_, _madrepores_, _fishes_, &c.
It is not necessary that these bodies should be either large or
entire, but they must be sufficiently characterized to be capable
of being recognized.

It is useless to transmit large unmeaning pieces, which are
recommended only by their size--such as large ammonites--large
madrepores--large pieces of petrified wood--fragments of the one,
or small individuals of the other, are often sufficient. We may
avoid also collecting the inner moulds ("des moules interieurs")
of shells, because they are almost invariably incapable of being

2. Petrifactions, isolated and detached from their rock, are the
most convenient in the determination of species; but when they
cannot be separated from the rock, we need not hesitate to send
them engaged; it is sufficient if a portion large enough for
discrimination is visible.

Among shells, those are preferable which have the mouth or hinge
in view; among madrepores, those on whose surface the figures (les
étoiles) are distinguishable; among vegetables, those whose leaves
are distinctly expanded, (expalmées.)

3. Upon the objects transmitted it is desirable to have, at least
in part, the following notices:

1. The exact place from which the object comes: this is the most
important circumstance, and the easiest to obtain.

2. The kind of formation in which it is found, and a specimen of
the stratum, or at least of the rock, which contained it. It is
desirable that this rock exhibit remains of petrifactions similar
to those found in the stratum from which it has been drawn.

3. The nature of the formation of which this stratum or rock
composes a part, and specimens of as many of the superior and
inferior strata as can be obtained, designating the order of
superposition of the strata.

4. It is important to designate, by the same mark, all the
petrifactions _unquestionably_ found in the same stratum, or at
least in the same formation. The specimens ought to be almost
square--about three inches or more on a side, and one and a half

5. It is equally important not to mix petrifactions found in
different formations, or in different strata of the same formation;
or if they are packed together, to distinguish them by numbers,
marks, or labels.

When the preceding notices cannot be obtained, the first will

In order to collect the petrifactions, and to render them useful,
it is not necessary to know them, nor to be perplexed to find them
out; nor to be afraid of sending objects already known or of little
note. A part of the preceding indications, connected with the most
common petrifactions, will always render them useful. The important
point then is, not to mix those which are found separate, nor to
separate those which are found associated in the same stratum.

This is easily attained, by designating by a common number, letter,
or any sign whatever, one particular formation or stratum, and
by marking with the same sign all the petrifactions which are
evidently found together.

The labels designating the place or the geological situation, may
be placed in the papers which envelope the specimens, or a number,
referring to an explanatory catalogue, may be attached to each

As far as possible, it is necessary to stick the labels or numbers
to the pieces, by pasting; and the surest way is, to write upon the
piece itself, 1st, the place where it is found; 2d, the number by
which it is indicated in the historical notes above requested.

If there is not time to make out as many numbers or labels as there
are pieces, it will be sufficient to unite in one box or packet all
the petrifactions of one particular stratum, and to designate them
by a general label.

It is necessary to pack the shells and other fragile pieces in
separate boxes, and to wrap each piece in a separate paper.

M. Brongniart cannot allow himself to prefer such requests, except
under the express condition, that a memorandum of all the expenses
which the transportation and packing of the specimens may create
shall accompany the letter of advice.

The objects destined for him may be sent by the common modes of
conveyance, with a letter of advice, to the following address:

Mr. A. BRONGNIART, Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences,
Engineer of Mines, etc. Rue Saint-Dominique, Faubourg
Saint-Germain, No. 71, Paris.

ART. XIV. _Observations on a species of Limosella, recently
discovered in the United States, by Dr. Eli Ives, Professor of
Materia Medica and Botany, in the Medical Institution of Yale

This small plant was observed in flower in July, 1816, by Mr.
Horatio N. Fenn (now of Rochester, State of New-York) in company
with Dr. Leavenworth. The plant and the seeds have been preserved
by me, in a flower-pot, from that time to the present. The plant
was taken a few rods south of Mr. Whitney's gun manufactory, on the
margin of the river, where it was covered by every tide. I have
since observed the plant in great abundance on the margin of the
Housatonuck, in Derby, and in those small streams in East Haven,
Branford, and Guilford, which empty into Long-Island Sound.

A specimen of the limosella (with some specimens of the tillea)
was sent to Z. Collins, Esq. of Philadelphia, who wrote me that
Mr. Nuttall had found the same plant, a few days previous to the
receipt of my letter, and that they had no question on the subject
of the generic character, but that it would probably prove to be a
new species.

In the transactions of the Medico-Physical Society of New-York,
page 440, it is described under the name of limosella subulata.
A description of the plant was published about the same time, by
Mr. Nuttall, in the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of
Philadelphia. (See Vol. I. No. 6. p. 115.)

In the paper written by Mr. Nuttall is the following query: "Does
this plant, with a lateral mode of growth and alternate leaves,
germinate with two cotyledons?" The following observations were
made in answer to this question. In the winter of 1816-17 this
plant was kept in a situation exposed to severe frost; yet whenever
the weather became warm for two or three days, it became quite
green, but for the last winter there was no appearance of life in
the plant. In March 1818, the vessel in which the limosella had
been preserved for two summers preceding, and in which were a great
quantity of seeds, was exposed in a warm situation to the sun.
There was no appearance of vegetation until the last of March, when
were observed several cylindrical leaves, some of them evidently
arose from bulbs which had formed the last summer, on account of
the dryness of its situation, which frequently occurs when plants
are removed from a moist to a dry situation. In other instances
single cylindrical leaves arose from the earth, where no bulbs
were to be found; these cylindrical leaves were thought to arise
from seeds, which, if it was a fact, would prove that the plant
vegetated with but one cotyledon. In a short time the vessel was
crowded with the seeds of the limosella raised by the cotyledons.
These were carefully observed, and in every instance, when the coat
of the seed was cast off, two linear cotyledons were observed, soon
a cylindrical leaf arose from the centre of the cotyledons, and
when this leaf had grown to the length of half an inch, a leaf of a
similar kind arose laterally to a line made by the first leaf and
the cotyledons.

From the facts above stated, it is thought to be proved that the
limosella vegetates with two cotyledons. This was the fact in every
instance where the husk of the seeds was obviously attached to the
cotyledons, and in the few instances where the plants appeared to
vegetate with but one cotyledon, it is probable that it arose from
a bulb or some portion of the old plant, in which life had not been
extinguished, during the past winter, which was made more probable
by the fact that several of the leaves arose obviously from bulbs.
This limosella,[11] with its congeners, hence will take its place
in the natural order of Jussieu lysimachiæ.

ART. XV. _Professor_ BIGELOW _on the comparative Forwardness of the
Spring in different Parts of the United States, in 1817_.

We have been favoured with an ingenious memoir on this subject, by
the author, Professor Bigelow of Boston; it is a part of the fourth
volume of the Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Professor Bigelow, availing himself of a hint given him some
years ago by the late venerable Dr. Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania,
ascertained, through the medium of correspondence with accurate
observers in different parts of North America, the time of
flowering, for "1817, of the common fruit-trees and a few other
plants"--"found in most parts of the United States."

The peach-tree was the one most uniformly returned, and the
following table exhibits the time of its flowering, in places
sufficiently numerous and remote, to afford a fair specimen of
these observations:

     _Places._                _Lat._   _Long._  _Peach-tree in blossom._
  Fort Claiborne, Alab. Ter.  31° 50′  87° 50′     March  4
  Charleston, S. C.           32  44   80  39             6      12
  Richmond, Va.               37  40   77  50            23  Ap.  6
  Lexington, Ky.              38   6   85   8      April  6      15
  Baltimore, Md.              39  21   77  48             9
  Philadelphia, P.            39  56   75   8            15
  New-York, N. Y.             40  42   74   9            21      26
  Boston, Mass.               42  23   70  52        May  9
  Albany, N. Y.               43  39   73  30            12
  Brunswick, Me.              43  53   69  55            15[12]
  Montreal, Can.              45  35   73  11            12

Professor Bigelow infers, "that the difference of season between
the northern and southern extremities of the country is not less
than two months and a half." "Difference of longitude does not
seem very materially to affect the Floral Calendar within the
United States." It appears, that in the same year peach-trees were
in blossom at Valencia, in Spain, about the 19th of March; the
apple-tree near London, May 8th; the cherry-tree and pear-tree at
Geneva, in Switzerland, April 3d.

We hope that this research will be prosecuted in the manner it
has thus been happily begun. It evidently affords an excellent
criterion of the actual temperature, on a scale more extensive than
it is practicable to obtain from thermometrical registers.

Floral Calendars kept in various parts of the United States would
afford very interesting information, as to the changes of climate
in particular places; a common topic of popular remarks but
generally with few and inaccurate data.

ART. XVI. _A Journal of the Progress of Vegetation near
Philadelphia between the 20th of February and the 20th of May,
1816, with occasional Zoological Remarks._ By C. S. RAFINESQUE.

The importance of observations on the annual progress of vegetation
is obvious, and, as connected with agriculture, gardening, &c.,
eminently useful. Comparative observations acquire a particular
degree of interest, when made by skilful observers, at the same
time, but at different places. Dr. Bigelow, of Boston, issued a
circular, proposing that such contemporaneous observations should
be made in the spring of 1817; and I wish that his request may
have been attended to, when the collection of those observations
may afford valuable materials for an American Calendar of Flora.
The blossoming of plants is easily watched, but their foliation
and budding ought not to be neglected. Having been prevented, by
various causes, from keeping an exact record of the progress of
vegetation near New-York in 1817, I submit an accurate journal
which I had kept the year before, at Philadelphia, in which I hope
that some interesting facts may be noticed. Dr. Benjamin Barton has
published a sketch of a Calendar of Flora for Philadelphia, in his
Fragments on the Natural History of Pennsylvania; by comparing it
with mine, many material differences may be traced, which evince
a gradual change of temperature, although the spring of 1816 was
remarkably cold and late. The greater quantity of species observed
by me may, besides, render this journal a sort of vernal Flora of
the neighbourhood of Philadelphia; and many species found by me are
not to be met in the _Flora Philadelphica_ of Dr. William Barton.

_February_ 20. The _Hyacinthus orientalis_ begins to show its
flowers, and on the

24. In full blossom, as well as _Convallaria majalis_, in rooms.

25. The grass begins to look greenish in some parts.

26. Seen the first larva of insect in a pond.

27. The _Motacilla sialis_, or bluebird, is heard for the first

28. The first shad (_Clupea sapidissima_) is taken in the Delaware,
while on the same day, the first smelt (_Salmo eperlanoides_) was
taken in the Raritan, at New-Brunswick.

_March_ 1. The _Tulipa gesneriana_, and _Hesperis matronalis_, are
in blossom at the windows: the suckers (_genus Catostomus_) appear
in the fish-market.

2. The catkins of the _Alnus serrulatus_ begin to swell.

3. Those of _Salix Caprea_ begin to appear.

4. The grass looks green by patches in the country.

5. The leaves of _Veronica officinalis_, _Plantago virginiana_,
_Saxifraga virginica_, &c. are quite unfolded.

6. The new leaves of _Kalmia latifolia_ begin to appear.

7. The spathas of _Spathyema fetida_, or _Fothos fetida_, begin to
appear in blossom.

8. The _Alnus serrulatus_ is in full blossom.

10. Found several mosses and ferns in blossom; these last were
covered with capsules or old fructification: they were _Asplenium
ebeneum_, _Aspidium marginale_, _Asp. acrostichoides_, _Polypodium
medium_, N. Sp., &c.

11. Seen the first spider, in the country, brown, oblong, walking.
A fall of snow at night.

12. Seen in blossom, at the windows, _Narcissus tazzetta_, _N.
janguilla_, and several saffrons, genus _Crocus_, &c.

14. The grass looks quite green; the _Draba verna?_ is in blossom
in the State-House garden, the _Viburnum tinus_, _Primula
acaulis_, &c. in the rooms, &c. The following fish are at market:
white perch, (_Perca mucronata_, Raf.) yellow perch, (_Polyprion
fasciatum_, Raf.) mamoose sturgeon, (_Accipenser marginatur_, Raf.)
elk-oldwives, (_Sparus crythrops_, Raf.) &c.

15. The _Populus fastigiata_, Lombardy poplar, begins to show its

17. The big-eye herring (_Clupea megalops_) begin to be seen at the

18. Many plants begin to grow and show their leaves.

19. A fall of snow. The first shad (_Clupea sapidissima_) appear in
New-York: they are now common here.

20. _Crocus aureus_ in blossom in gardens; likewise _Iris persica_,

21. _Betula lenta_ begin to show the catkins.

22. _Galanthus nivalis_, and _Lamium amplexicaule_, are in blossom
in gardens at Cambden.

24. _Populus fastigiata_, and _Salix caprea_, are in full
bloom.--The gooseberry bushes shoot their leaves.

25. _Populus angulata_ in blossom at Cambden.

26. _Salix babylonica_ begins to blossom and shoot the leaves.
_Viburnum prunifolium_ is budding.

27. _Draba verna?_ is in seed already in Cambden: the _Rhododendron
maximum_ begins to shoot in gardens.

28. _Juniperus virginiana_ is in bloom. _Saxifraga virginica_
begins to show its flowers. _Laurus benzoin_, and _Cornus florida_,
are budding.

_April_ 1. In the morning, a large flight of wild geese went over
the city northwards, making a great noise. In the afternoon there
was a thunder storm from the southwest.

2. The frogs begin to croak. Found in blossom near Cambden, _Arabis
rotundifolia_, Raf., _A. lyrata_, _Saxifraga virginica_, _Draba
verna?_ _Betula lenta_, &c. _Pinus inops_ is budding.

3. Seen the first swallow. Found in blossom on the Schuylkill,
_Fumaria cucullaria_, _Anemone thalictroides_, _Saxifraga
virginica_, many ferns and mosses.

4. The fresh-water turtle (_Testudo picta_) begins to show itself.

7. Found in blossom to-day, _Hepatica triloba_, _Laurus benzoin_,
_Sanguinaria canadensis_, _Spathyema fetida_, _Acer rubrum_, &c.
The first bee is seen.

10. In blossom at the woodlands, _Viola blanda_, _Luzula
filamentosa_, Raf., _Gnaphalium?_ _plantageneum_, &c.

12. In blossom at Cambden, _Viola lanceolata_, and _Houstonia

14. The apricot-trees begin to blossom in gardens. _Acernegundo_ is
in bloom at Gray's Ferry.

15. Seen the first butterfly--it was small and gray. Found in
blossom, near Cambden, _Phlox subulata_, _Arabis parviflora_, Raf.,
and _Vaccinium ligustrinum_.

18. Seen in blossom, _Epigea repens_, _Carex acuta_, and _Taraxacum
dens-leonis_. In gardens, the peach and cherry trees are in bloom.
Observed many insects. The _Camellia_, the _Magnolia chinensis_,
&c. are seen in the hot-house of the Woodlands.

20. The first snake is seen, _Coluber trivittata_, Raf. Also a
beautiful large butterfly, red and black. The _Salix vitellina_,
and _Capsella bursa_. (_Thlaspi bursa-pastoris_,) are in blossom.

21. Found in blossom, near Gray's Ferry, _Narcissus
pseudo-narcissus_, and _Sedum ternatum_, both naturalized. Likewise
the _Populus tremuloides_, and _Mespelus canadensis_. The leaves of
_Podophyllum pettatum_ are fully expanded.

23. Seen in full bloom in gardens, the pear-tree, plum-tree, _Riber
grossularia_, and _R. rubrum_.

24. Found in blossom along the Schuylkill, _Aguilegia
canadensis_, _Hyacinthus botryoides_, _Ranunculus fascicularis_,
_Violapapilionacea. V. decumbens_, Raf., _Houstonia cerulea_,
_Cerastium pumilum_, Raf.

25. Found in blossom near Cambden, _Viola pedata_, _V. lanceolata_,
_V. ovata_, Raf., _V. primulifolia_, _Arabis parviflora_, Raf.,
_Cerastium pumilum_, Raf., _Carex acuta_, _Meopilus botryapium_,
_Laurus sassafras_, _Cercis canadensis_, _Potentilla simplex_,
_Andromeda racemoca_.

28. Seen in blossom in gardens, _Calycanthus floridus_, _Syringa
persica_, _Phlox pilosa_, &c. The leaves of _Liriodendron
tulipifera_, _Æsculus hippocastanum_, _Populus fastigiata_, _P.
angulata_, are unfolded.

30. In blossom on the Schuylkill, _Obolaria virginiana_, _Anemone
trifolia_, _Hydrastis canadensis_, &c.

_May_ 1. In blossom in the Neck, _Cerastium vulgatum_? _Veronica
serpyllifolia_, _V. arvensis_, _Ranunculus bulbosus_, _Viola

3. Found above the Falls of the Schuylkill, _Viola striata_, _V.
concolor_, _V. primulifolia_, _V. blanda_, _Fumaria aurea_, _F.
cucullaria_, _Charophyllum procumbens_, _Uvularia sessitifolia_,
_U. perfoliata_, _Cercis canadensis_, _Arabis falcata_, _Stellaria
pubera_, _Erigeron pulchellum_, _Orchis spectabilis_, _Hydrastis
canadensis_, _Dentaria diphylla_, _Azalea nudiflora_, &c.

4. Found on the Vissahikon, _Arabis bulbosa_, _Panax trifolium_,
_Viola pectata_, _V. rotundifolia_, _Cardamine pennsylvanica_,
_Krigia virginica_, and several grasses.

7. Found in blossom over the Schuylkill, _Laurus sassafras_,
_Viburnum prunifolium_, _Aronia arbutifolia_, _A. melanocarpa_,
_Fragaria virginica_, _Cerastium nutans_, Raf., _Convallaria
majalis_, naturalized, and several species of the genus _Vaccinium_.

10. Found below the falls of the Schuylkill, _Floerkea
uliginosa_, _Viburnum acerifolium_, _Oxalis violacea_, _Cerastium
tenuifolium, lechoma hederacea_, &c.: and the following above the
Falls--_Trillium cernuum_, _Viola pubescens_, _V. pennsylvanica_,
_Hydrophyllum virginicum_, _Polemonium reptans_, _Senecio aureus_,
_Saxifraga pennsylvanica_, _Staphylea trifoliata_, _Obolaria
virginica_, _Caltha palustris_, _Ranunculus abortivus_, &c.

11. Seen the first bat.

12. Near Haddonfield, _Bartsia coccinea_, _Helonias bullata_,
_Trifolium repens_, &c.

15. Found between Cambden and Haddonfield, _Trifolium pratense_,
_Silene virginica_, _Antirrhinum canadense_, _Lithospermum
tenellum_, Raf., _Festucatenella_, _Seleranthus annuus_, _Oxalis
biflora_, Raf., _Poa rubra_, _Vaccinium corymbosum_, _Viola
palmata_, _V. parvifolia_, Raf., _Rubus flagellaris_, &c. Also in
blossom, _Quercus rubra_, _Q. obtusiloba_, _Q. alba_, &c.

20. Found near Burlington, _Plantago virginica_, _Euphorbia
ipecacuanha_, _Comptonia asplenifolia_, _Myosotis lappula_,
_Senecio obovatus_, _Scirpus acicularis_, _Lithospermum trinervum_,
Raf., _L. tenellum_, Raf., &c.; besides several _Carex_.

ART. XVII. _Description of a New Species of North American Marten_,
(_Mustela vulpina_) by C. S. RAFINESQUE.

The regions watered by the Missouri are inhabited by many animals,
as yet unknown to the zoologists, although many have been noticed
by travellers. A species of marten has lately been presented to
the Lyceum of Natural History in New-York, which was brought from
that country, and appears to belong to a peculiar species, very
different from the common martens of Europe, Asia, and America,
although it has, in common with it, the character of the yellow
throat; but the head, feet, and tail, afford so many peculiar
characters, that no doubt can be entertained of its diversity. I
have, therefore, given to it the name of _Mustela vulpina_, or Fox
Marten, owing to its head and tail being somewhat similar to that
of a fox.

_Mustela Vulpina._ Definition--Brown, three large yellowish spots
underneath on the throat, breast, and belly; cheeks, inside of
the ears, and a spot on the nape, white; tail tipped with white
one-third of total length; feet blackish, toes white.

_Description._--This animal is of a fine shape: its size is rather
above mediocrity, being about half a foot high, and the total
length being twenty-seven inches, whereof nine form the tail. The
general colour of the fur is of a drab brown, and it is neither
coarse nor very fine. The head is elongated, oblong, about four
inches long, shaped like that of a fox; the snout is narrow; the
nose is black, notched, and granulated, furnished on each side with
black whiskers, two inches long: there are three long black hairs,
or _vibrissa_, above each eye, and a few shorter ones scattered
behind them on the cheeks, chin, and tip of the lower jaw, which
is white: the cheeks are whitish, and there is a white spot on the
nape of the neck: the ears are large, broad, and white inside.
There are three large, oblong spots, on the throat, breast, and
belly; this last is the largest; that on the breast the smallest.
The fore legs are shorter than the hind ones, and have, behind,
three very long hairs or vibrissa: the feet and toes of all the
legs are covered with long fur; the former have a dark brown or
blackish ring, and the latter are of a dirty white: there are five
long toes to all the feet, of which the inner one is the shortest;
the nails are white, retractible, and shorter than the fur. The
teeth are as in the genus _Mustela_, and white; those of the lower
jaw are larger and stronger: the grinders are four on each side;
they are broad, trifid, with the middle lobe sharp and very long:
the tusks, or dogteeth, are very strong, curved, and approximated,
leaving a very small place for the incisores, which are very
small, very short, and flat; the two lateral ones on each side are
situated diagonally, the second behind, and the two middle ones are
only half the size of the others. The tail is bushy, particularly
at the top, where there is a white pencil of long hairs; the brown
of the remainder is darker than on the body.

From the above accurate description, it will appear evident that
this animal is very different from the common marten of North
America. It must be a ferocious little animal, and very fierce;
which is indicated by the strength of the teeth.

ART. XVIII. _Natural History of the Scytalus Cupreus, or
Copper-head Snake._ By C. S. RAFINESQUE.

After the rattlesnake, the copper-head snake is the most dreaded
in the northern states, being the next largest venomous snake: he
is also more common in the cold parts, where the former is very
rare. Strange as it may seem, this conspicuous and dangerous animal
has escaped the notice of naturalists, and is not found described
in Shaw nor Lacepede. Having seen two of them near Fishkill, in
the summer of 1817, I endeavoured to describe them completely, and
investigate their history. They were both killed in a meadow, and
one of them while sleeping coiled up near a fence; a slight stroke
of a rod was sufficient, as usual with venomous snakes. It appears
that they are killed much easier than the innocent snakes; these
are often seen to revive after an apparent death, and do not really
die until the next sunset; while venomous snakes do not easily
revive, particularly if the head is slightly bruised.

This snake is known by a variety of names in different parts of
the State of New-York, since he has every where attracted the
attention of the inhabitants: these names are, _copper-head_,
_copper-snake_, _chunk-head_, _copper-adder_, _copper-viper_,
_copper-belly_, _pilot-snake_, _deaf-adder_, _deaf-snake_; and in
New-England, by the names _rattlesnake's mate_ and _red adder_, &c.
They have all been given in reference to his colour, or to some
presumed peculiarities in his manners, &c. _Chunk-head_ is a vulgar
expression, meaning thick-head or blunt-head. He has been called
sometimes _pilot-snake_, on a false supposition that he was the
pilot or guide of the rattlesnake; and he has been considered as
deaf, because he is easily surprised, and does not appear to hear
the noise of your approach.

It belongs to the genus _scytalus_ of Daudin, &c., which differs
from the _Boa_ of Linnæus, as the genus _Vipera_ does from
_Coluber_, being provided with fangs. I have given to it the name
of _Scytalus Cupreus_, which means coppered scytalus. The following
definition of the species may be considered as comparative and

_Scytalus Cupreus._ Tail one-eighth of total length, with 45 caudal
plates entirely brown; 150 abdominal plates, the last very broad;
head oval, coppered above, yellow underneath; scales carinated on
the back, which is coppered, with reddish brown rings cross-shaped;
belly variegated of brownish.

_Description._ Total length about three feet; body thicker than in
the innocent snakes. Head large, broad, oval, obtuse, very distinct
from the neck, nearly two inches long, flattened, coppered brown
above, and covered with large, smooth scales; yellow underneath,
as well as the neck, and with rhomboidal smooth scales. Mouth very
large; fangs yellowish white. Back flattened anteriorly, a little
angular in the middle, covered with small rhomboidal, obtuse,
keeled scales; those of the sides larger and smooth, not keeled;
centre of the back of a brownish copper colour; sides of a bright
copper; broad bands or rings, becoming forked on each side, and
assuming nearly the shape of a St. Andrew's cross; they are of a
reddish brown: there is a round spot opposite to the sinusses, and
the scales of the sides are minutely dotted of brown. The abdominal
plates are 150, beginning under the head; the last, covering the
vent, is very broad, double the other: they are of a shining, pale
copper colour, with two longitudinal and lateral rows of great,
irregular, brown spots, with some light brownish clouds between
them, and each plate is marginated of whitish. The belly is very
flat and broad, about 1¼ inch in diameter; and the skin may be
distended on the sides, when, the animal is not fed. Tail short,
tapering gradually, about four inches long, cylindrical, brown,
without spots, with 45 plates underneath, and having at the end a
small, obtuse, horn claw, of an oblong, compressed, obtuse shape,
and carinated underneath.

This snake has many of the habits of the rattlesnake; he is very
slow in his motions, rather clumsy, owing to his thick shape and
short tail. He retires in winter into caves, hollow rocks, and
trees, where he lies, in a torpid state, from November to April;
several have been found coiled up together, the head lying over the
back: it is in the same situation he sleeps in the fields. When
found in the torpid state, they may be carried without waking; but
might wake in a warm room. They do not eat during all that time:
their food consists of birds, frogs, mice, and even squirrels,
which they catch by surprise, as they do not climb on trees. They
kill their large prey by breathing a poisonous effluvia, crushing
it in their folds, and they swallow it whole after covering it with
their clammy saliva. They can remain a very long time without a
meal, and one meal is a long time digesting.

They are generally found in meadows, pastures, and the edge of
woods. They creep slovenly through the grass, and if surprised by
the sight of man, they assume an erect and threatening posture,
darting their tongue and swelling their head; but they do not
attack men, unless alarmed and struck. They are considered more
dangerous than the rattlesnake, because they do not give notice of
their vicinity, and lie concealed in the grass; but they are easily
killed, when assuming the threatening posture, by a slight touch
of a cane, spade, or any other instrument. The effects of their
bite is similar to that of the rattlesnake, and cured in the same
way, by the prompt application of the _Aristolochia serpentaria_,
_Polygala senega_, _Prenanthes serpentaria_, _Macrotry
serpentaria_, &c. and other plants, bearing in consequence the name
of snakeroots.

This snake is found in New-England, New-York, New-Jersey,
Pennsylvania, &c., and perhaps all over the United States.

ART. XIX. _On a Method of Augmenting the Force of Gunpowder._

Extract of a Letter to the Editor, from Colonel GEORGE GIBBS.

I employed, the last year, a man in blowing rocks, and having seen
an account of a method of substituting a portion of quick lime for
a part of the gunpowder usually employed, I was induced to make
a number of experiments upon it. I now send you the results in
the certificate of the person employed, whose statement might be
relied on, even if I had not superintended myself a number of the

"_Sunswick Farms, Oct. 19, 1817._--I certify that, having been
employed by Colonel Gibbs in blasting rocks on his farm, I, by his
orders, made use of a composition of one part quick lime and two
parts gunpowder, and uniformly found the same charge to answer
equally well with a like quantity of gunpowder. I made upwards
of fifty blasts in this manner, as well as several hundreds in
the usual way, and can therefore depend upon the accuracy of this
statement. I found, however, that when the powdered lime was mixed
with the gunpowder the day before, that the effect was diminished.
It should be always used the day it is mixed.

  (Signed)        T. POMEROY."

This preparation was made generally in the morning, put in a
bottle and well corked, to prevent the access of the external air.
The rationale of the process was not explained in the original
recommendation, but it soon occurred to me, that it must be owing
to the desiccation of the gunpowder by the lime.

The attraction of moisture by gunpowder, is known to be very great:
according to Rees's Cyclopedia, upwards of 16 per cent. has been
absorbed, and that the removal, simply, from near the fire to the
corner of the room, produces a considerable change in its weight.
I presume, therefore, that the lime, which in its caustic state
has also a great affinity to water, attracts a portion of it from
the powder, and leaves it in a state of dryness best fitted for
inflammation. But if the lime should remain too long mixed with
the powder, it would probably attack the water of crystallization
of the saltpetre, and, according to Count Rumford's idea, destroy
a great part of the power. If also left exposed, attractions of
moisture would take place from the atmosphere, the gunpowder would
remain surcharged with humidity as before, and the lime would be
only an inert mass.

The examination of this subject led me to consider the increase
of the power of gunpowder in various situations, and of its use
in the field. It is well known that after a few discharges a
cannon becomes heated, and the range is much greater, as well as
the recoil. The charge of powder is therefore reduced about one
quarter, to produce the original effect. As I have not heard or
seen any explanation of this fact I shall take this opportunity of
mentioning, that it appears to arise from the same cause as the
first explained, viz. the desiccation of the powder. No person will
dispute the heat acquired by a cannon, or even a musket, after
repeated discharges; and this heat must volatilize or destroy a
great portion of the moisture combined with the powder, assist its
speedy inflammation, and perhaps add to its power, by causing a
more perfect combustion of the inflammable parts of the gunpowder.
This would cause a much greater volume of gas to be produced, and
the high temperature would also greatly augment its elasticity;
and it is well known that the effects of gunpowder depend upon the
rapid production and high degree of elasticity of a great quantity
of aeriform fluids or gases.

ART. XX. _On The Connexion between Magnetism and Light._ By Col.

_Extract from a Letter to the Editor._

I visited, the last year, the mine of magnetic iron at Succassunny,
belonging to Governor Dickerson of New-Jersey. The mine had
not been worked for a year past, and I did not descend it. The
proprietor, a gentleman of distinguished science, informed me of
a singular circumstance attending it, which was too important to
be left unnoticed. The mine is worked at the depth of 100 feet;
direction of the bed, northeast and southwest; inclination nearly
perpendicular. The ore in the upper part of the bed is magnetic,
and has polarity; but that raised from the bottom has no magnetism
at first, but acquires it after it has been some time exposed to
the influence of the atmosphere. This fact, of which there is
no doubt, struck me as most singular. I could not recollect any
similar observation; and it is only lately that I have found that
Werner had observed, that iron sand, raised from the depth of 100
feet, had no magnetism. See Rees's Cyclopedia, Art. Sand.

I could only account for this circumstance by supposing that
magnetism existed not in the interior of the earth, as was
supposed, but only on the surface, and in such bodies as received
this principle from atmospheric, or celestial influence.

The late discovery of the magnetic influence of the violet rays
of light, by M. Morechini, a notice of which has since reached
us in the journals, connected with the above fact, leads me to
believe that light is the great source of magnetism. A learned
foreigner,[13] whose residence in this country has contributed much
to its scientific improvement, has also informed me that other
substances than metallic have been found, by compression, to be

It is well known that the violet ray is the most refrangible, or
has the most attraction to matter. But there are other rays, which
Herschel, who some years since discovered them, calls invisible
rays, which are still more refrangible, are next beyond the violet,
when refracted, and partake of most of its properties, except
that they are invisible. I have not yet seen any account of the
experiments of M. Morechini, other than the notice in the journal;
but I trust I shall soon be able to determine whether those
invisible rays do not possess the magnetic power as well as the
violet; or, perhaps, possess it exclusively.

As the refraction of the atmosphere in the polar circles, is at
least ten times greater than in the tropics, a greater quantity
of the magnetic rays will there be separated and combined than
elsewhere; and of course arises excess of magnetism. Hence the
direction of magnetic bodies towards the northern and southern
extreme regions. The great absorption and emission of light in the
polar regions, by the ice and snow, may cause the extraordinary
illumination of that country during the absence of the sun, and the
emission of the magnetic rays with electricity may, perhaps, give
us the aurora borealis.

The coincidence of the diurnal variation of the compass with
the solar influence, deserves particular notice, and will have
considerable weight on this subject.

That there are many facts which cannot readily be explained by
the theory of light, I shall not deny; but in the infancy of
this system we may be allowed to hope that future observations
may enable us to remove present difficulties. One thing must be
admitted, that no theory has heretofore been published relating to
magnetism, which has received or seems entitled to much confidence.
In your next number I hope to be able to furnish you with further
remarks on this subject; but, I have no doubt that philosophy
will finally determine that we owe to the solar ray light, heat,
electricity, and magnetism.


_Sunswick, January, 1818._

ART. XXI. _On a new Means of producing Heat and Light, with an
Engraving, by J. L. Sullivan, Esq. of Boston._

  BOSTON, May 7, 1818.

  _To Professor Silliman._


If the following account of a method of using tar and steam as
fuel, recently invented by Mr. Samuel Morey, should be found
sufficiently interesting to occupy a place in the Journal of
Science, I am sensible its usefulness will be much extended through
that medium of information.

The inventor, not unskilled in chemistry, and aware of the
attraction of oxygen for carbon, conceived it practicable to
convert the constituents of water into fuel, by means of this

Whatever may be the fact, chemically considered, the operation,
in various experiments, promises to afford a convenient method of
applying to use several of the most combustible substances, not
hitherto employed as fuel. By the process I shall briefly describe,
_all carbonaceous fluids_ may be conveniently burnt, and derive
great force from their combination with the oxygen and hydrogen
gases of water or steam, before or at the moment of ignition.

[Illustration: NEW FIRE APPARATUS.

Fig. 1.

Fig. 2.]

A tight vessel, cylindrically shaped, was first employed,
containing rosin, connected with a small boiler by a pipe which
entered near the bottom, and extended nearly its length, having
small apertures, over which were two inverted gutters, inclining
or sloping upwards over each other; the upper one longer than the
other, intended to detain the steam in the rosin, in its way to
the surface. The rosin being heated, _carburetted hydrogen gas_
would issue from the outlet, or pipe, inserted near the top of the
vessel, and being ignited, afforded a small blaze, about as large
as that of a candle; but, when the steam was allowed to flow, this
blaze would instantly shoot out many hundred times its former bulk,
to the distance of two or three feet.

It is presumed the steam was decomposed, and carburetted hydrogen
and carbonic oxide, or carbonic acid, produced as the steam passed,
very near the hot bottom of the vessel.

Another apparatus was constructed, consisting of two vessels, one
within the other, having a cover common to both; the inner one to
contain _tar_, (as a more convenient substance than rosin;) the
outer vessel to contain water, which surrounds the other, and lies
under its bottom; or, in other words, a vessel of tar set into a
vessel of boiling water. The boiler has a lining of sheet copper,
or tin, to promote the ebullition. The tar vessel being riveted to
the cover, holes are made through its sides, near to the cover,
to allow the steam to pass in, and act on its surface. The cover
being secured on, a safety valve is provided for the steam vessel,
and two cocks; one over the tar, the other over the water, are
fixed contiguously; the first has a tube, or is elongated to reach
nearly to the bottom of the tar, which ascends, and is driven out
by the pressure of the steam on its surface. Both cocks conduct
to a pipe, wherein is placed a large wire, or metallic rod, which
about fills the tube, and is perforated obliquely, or zig zag, to
increase the length of the passage, and to mingle the tar and steam
more intimately. The gases, or vapours, issue from a small orifice
at the end of the pipe; and, being ignited by a little fire, into
which it is directed, an intense and voluminous blaze is produced,
and continues as long as the materials remain unexhausted. A hot
brick, instead of the fire, answers the same purpose.

This apparatus contained but about one quart of tar, (which must
always be nicely strained,) and it lasted one and a half hour,
and the flame was sufficient to fill a common fireplace, if not
allowed to escape, by its violence, up the chimney. Its force will
be according to the elasticity of the steam. I regret being unable,
since, to make more exact and varied experiments, to demonstrate
the economy of this fuel. This point, however, and the chemical
facts, will be the subject of a future communication. And probably
a form of a stove may be devised, wherein it may be used for the
purposes of warmth, light, and cooking; and another apparatus to
light streets.

But this invention will be of more special use _as fuel for steam
engines applied to navigation_--the purpose principally for which I
have purchased the patent right.

This may be the subject of another communication.

ART. XXII. _On the Changes which have taken place in the Wells of
Water situated in Columbia, South-Carolina, since the Earthquakes
of 1811-12._ By EDWARD DARRELL SMITH, M. D., _Professor of Chemical
and Experimental Philosophy and Mineralogy in the South-Carolina

  _To Professor Silliman._


In answer to your inquiry respecting the changes in our wells,
since the memorable period of the earthquakes, I would make the
following observations:

These tremendous convulsions of nature commenced in December, 1811,
and were continued, at intervals, until the latter end of the
succeeding month of March, with different degrees of violence, in
this and some of the adjacent states. In November, 1812, I visited
this town, and then understood that the wells, which are generally
very deep, had an abundance of water in them. This continued to
be the case for about one year after; and in the College well, in
particular, which was a remarkably fine one, there were always
about twelve feet of water, notwithstanding its daily consumption
by more than two hundred persons. Shortly after this time, many
of the wells in the town began to fail in their usual supply of
water, although they were frequently cleaned out and occasionally
deepened. Their state became worse every year, until, at length,
about three years since, some of them proved to be entirely dry,
and most of the others had their water turbid, and diminished
to the depth of only two or three feet. A little anterior to
this period, what were called the dry years had commenced, and
there were, comparatively, very scanty falls of rain until the
last spring; since when there has been a very large quantity. To
elucidate the subject more fully, it may not be amiss to give some
topographical account of the town of Columbia. About a mile from
the eastern bank of the Cogaree the town begins to be thickly built
up, and at this distance the elevation of ground is supposed to
be one hundred feet above the level of the river in its ordinary
state. The hill is then tolerably level for the space of a mile or
more in its western extent, and its soil is principally composed of
a loose, porous sand, with which few, if any, stones are intermixed
at any depth that has yet been penetrated. In attempting to account
for the failure of the well-waters, it was supposed by some that
the earthquakes had produced such changes in the loose texture of
the soils, that the veins of water which used to supply the wells,
had sunk beneath the level of these reservoirs; but on this head it
is to be observed, that there was no remarkable failure of water
for one or two years after these changes were supposed to have
been effected. Others again, connecting the greatest failure of
water with the concurring dearth of rain, conceived that the fact
might be explained by the droughts occasioning a deficiency in the
river-water, and thus cutting off the supply which they supposed
had heretofore percolated from the margin of the river into the
wells. If their hypothesis was correct, it was believed that the
difficulty would be removed, either by deepening the wells, or by
subsequent large supplies of rain. Many wells were immediately
deepened from two to eight or ten feet, but the remedy proved
very inadequate. And since the great falls of rain, within a year
past, although there are somewhat larger supplies of water in some
wells, yet there is not the half as much as existed before the
earthquakes. The College well, although deepened several feet, does
not now contain generally more than four or five feet of water. I
must not omit to remark, that two wells, situated in a longitudinal
line from north to south, with regard to each other, and also
in a lower spot of ground, never failed entirely, although they
diminished considerably, and now yield more copious supplies than
any others.

Whatever may be the cause of this phenomenon, the effects are so
inconvenient, and it is so generally believed that they are likely
to be permanent, that the inhabitants of the town are beginning to
build cisterns, in order to accumulate artificial reservoirs of

ART. XXIII. _Respiration of Oxygen Gas._

It is not extraordinary, when oxygen gas was first discovered, and
found to be the principle of life to the whole animal creation,
that extravagant expectations should have been formed as to its
medicinal application. Disappointment followed of course, and
naturally led to a neglect of the subject; and, in fact, for some
years, pneumatic medicine has gone into discredit, and public
opinion has vibrated to the extreme of incredulity. Partaking in
a degree in this feeling, we listened with some reluctance to a
very pressing application on this subject during the last summer. A
young lady, apparently in the last stages of decline, and supposed
to be affected with hydrothorax, was pronounced beyond the reach of
ordinary medical aid. As she was in a remote town in Connecticut,
where no facilities existed towards the attainment of the object,
we felt no confidence that, even if oxygen gas were possessed of
any efficacy in such cases, it would _actually_ be applied in this
case, in such a manner as to do any good. Yielding, however, to
the anxious wishes of friends, we furnished drawings for such an
apparatus as might be presumed attainable, and also written and
minute directions for preparing, trying, and administering the gas.
It was obtained from nitrate of potash, (saltpetre,) not because it
was the best process, but because the substance could be obtained
in the place, and because a common fire would serve for its
extrication. The gas obtained had, of course, a variable mixture of
nitrogen or azot, and probably on an average, might not be purer
than nearly the _reversed_ proportions of the atmosphere--that is,
70 to 80 per cent. of oxygen to 20 or 30 nitrogen; and it is worthy
of observation, whether this circumstance might not have influenced
the result.

Contrary to our expectations, the gas (as we are since informed
by good authority) was skilfully prepared and perseveringly used.
From the first, the difficulty of breathing and other oppressive
affections were relieved: the young lady grew rapidly better,
and in a few weeks entirely recovered her health. A respectable
physician, conversant with the case, states, in a letter now before
us, "that the inhaling of the oxygen gas relieved the difficulty of
breathing, increased the operation of diuretics, _and has effected
her cure_. Whether her disease was hydrothorax, or an anasarcous
affection of the lungs, is a matter I believe not settled."

Should the revival of the experiments on the respiration of oxygen
gas appear to be desired, it would not be difficult to simplify the
apparatus and operations so as to bring them within the reach of an
intelligent person, even although ignorant of chemistry: and this
task, should there be occasion, we would cheerfully undertake to

This interesting class of experiments ought to be resumed, not with
the spirit of quackery, or of extravagant expectation, but with the
sobriety of philosophical research; and it is more than probable
that the nitrous oxyde which is now little more than a subject of
merriment and wonder, if properly diluted and discreetly applied,
would be productive of valuable effects.

ART. XXIV. _On the Compound Blowpipe. Extract from the Journal de
Physique, of Paris, for January 1818._[14]


"Heat, considered as one of the most important agents, especially
in relation to chemistry, and even to mineralogy, has also been
the subject of numerous labours, both with regard to the means of
augmenting and of diminishing its effects.

"To the former belong the numerous experiments made, especially in
England, with the blowpipe, supplied by a mixture of oxygen and
hydrogen gases. Mr. Clarke has evidently been more extensively
engaged in these researches than any other person, as our readers
have perceived in the extracts which we have given from the labours
of this learned chemist; but it is proper also to give publicity to
the protest (réclamation) made to us in favour of Mr. Silliman.

"We have already stated that Mr. Hare, of Philadelphia, first
conceived the idea of forming a blowpipe with explosive gas; but
as we have not been conversant with the memoirs of the Society of
Arts and Sciences of Connecticut, we have not made mention of Mr.

"The fact is, that this chemist, Professor at New-Haven, published,
on the 7th of May,[15] 1812, a memoir containing the results of
experiments made upon a very great number of bodies, until that
time reputed to be infusible; and, among others, upon the alkaline
earths, the decomposition of which he effected.

"The experiments of Mr. Clarke were therefore subsequent; but,
having been made upon a still more extensive list of substances,
they are scarcely less interesting.

"It results then, from the experiments of Messrs. Hare, Silliman,
Clarke, Murray, and Ridolfi, that there is really no substance
which is infusible in the degree of heat produced by this kind of

"In this new department of physics, it is attempted not only to
apply the blowpipe to a very great number of bodies, but so to
modify the instrument or apparatus as to give it the highest degree
of convenience, and especially to obviate the danger of explosion."

  pp. 38 & 39.


As the results produced by Mr. Hare's Compound Blowpipe, fed by
oxygen and hydrogen gases, continue to be mentioned in Europe,
in many of the Journals, without any reference to the results
long since obtained in this country, we republish the following
statement of facts, which was, in substance, first published in
New-York, more than a year since. It should be observed, that
Mr. Tilloch has since published, in the Philosophical Magazine
in London, the memoir which contained the American results, and
there have been some other allusions to it in different European
Journals, and to Mr. Hare's previous experiments; but still this
interesting class of results continue to be attributed to others
than their original discoverers.

  _Yale College, April 7, 1817._

Various notices, more or less complete, chiefly copied from English
newspapers, are now going the round of the public prints in this
country, stating that "_a new kind of fire_" has been discovered
in England, or, at least, new and heretofore unparalleled means
of exciting heat, by which the gems, and all the most refractory
substances in nature, are immediately melted, and even in various
instances dissipated in vapour, or decomposed into their elements.
The first glance at these statements, (which, as regards the
effects, I have no doubt are substantially true,) was sufficient
to satisfy me, that the basis of these discoveries was laid by
an American discovery, made by Mr. Robert Hare of Philadelphia,
in 1801. In December of that year, Mr. Hare communicated to the
Chemical Society of Philadelphia his discovery of a method of
burning oxygen and hydrogen gases in a united stream, so as to
produce a very intense heat.

In 1802, he published a detailed memoir on the subject, with
an engraving of his apparatus, and he recited the effects of
his instrument; some of which, in the degree of heat produced,
surpassed any thing before known.

In 1802, and 1803, I was occupied with him, in Philadelphia, in
prosecuting similar experiments on a more extended scale; and a
communication on the subject was made to the Philosophical Society
of Philadelphia. The memoir is printed in their transactions;
and Mr. Hare's original memoir was reprinted in the Annals of
Chemistry, in Paris, and in the Philosophical Magazine, in London.

Mr. Murray, in his System of Chemistry, has mentioned Mr. Hare's
results in the fusion of several of the earths, &c. and has given
him credit for his discovery.

In one instance, while in Europe, in 1806, at a public lecture, I
saw some of them exhibited by a celebrated Professor, who mentioned
Mr. Hare as the reputed author of the invention.

In December, 1811, I instituted an extended course of experiments
with Mr. Hare's blowpipe, in which I melted lime and magnesia, and
a long list of the most refractory minerals, gems, and others, the
greater part of which had never been melted before, and I supposed
that I had decomposed lime, barytes, strontites, and magnesia,
evolving their metallic basis, which burnt in the air as fast as
produced. I communicated a detailed account of my experiments to
the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, who published it in
their Transactions for 1812; with their leave it was communicated
to Dr Bruce's Mineralogical Journal, and it was printed in the 4th
number of that work. Hundreds of my pupils can testify that Mr.
Hare's splendid experiments, and many others performed with his
blowpipe, fed by oxygen and hydrogen gases, have been for years
past annually exhibited, in my public courses of chemistry in Yale
College, and that the fusion and volatilization of platina, and
the combustion of that metal, and of gold and silver, and of many
other metals; that the fusion of the earths, of rock crystal, of
gun flint, of the corundum gems, and many other, very refractory
substances; and the production of light beyond the brightness of
the sun, have been familiar experiments in my laboratory. I have
uniformly given Mr. Hare the full credit of the invention, although
my researches, with his instrument, had been pushed farther than
his own, and a good many new results added.

It is therefore with no small surprise that, in the Annales de
Chimie et de Physique, for September, 1816, I found a translation
of a very elaborate memoir, from a Scientific Journal, published
at the Royal Institution in London, in which a full account is
given of a very interesting series of experiments performed by
means of Mr. Hare's instrument; or rather one somewhat differently
arranged, but depending on the same principle. Mr. Hare's invention
is slightly mentioned in a note, but no mention is made of his
experiments, or of mine.

On a comparison of the memoir in question with Mr. Hare's and with
my own, I find that very many of the results are identical, and all
the new ones are derived directly from Mr. Hare's invention, with
the following differences.--In Mr. Hare's, the two gases were in
distinct reservoirs, to prevent explosion; they were propelled by
the pressure of a column of water, and were made to mingle, just
before their exit, at a common orifice. In the English apparatus,
the gases are both in one reservoir, and they are propelled by
their own elasticity, after condensation, by a syringe.

Professor Clarke, of Cambridge University, the celebrated
traveller, is the author of the memoir in question; and we must
presume that he was ignorant of what had been done by Mr. Hare and
myself, or he would candidly have adverted to the facts.

It is proper that the public should know that Mr. Hare was the
author of the invention, by means of which, in Europe, they are now
performing the most brilliant and beautiful experiments; and that
there are very few of these results hitherto obtained there, by the
use of it, (and the publication of which has there excited great
interest,) which were not, several years ago, anticipated here,
either by Mr. Hare or by myself.

As I have cited only printed documents, or the testimony of living
witnesses, I trust the public will not consider this communication
as indelicate, or arrogant, but simply a matter of justice to the
interests of American science, and particularly to Mr. Hare.

  _Professor of Chemistry and Mineralogy in Yale College._

ART. XXV. _The Northwest Passage, the North Pole, and the Greenland

In looking over the foreign journals, we find no articles of
intelligence so interesting as those which respect the three
subjects mentioned above. Indeed, as they have found their way into
most of our newspapers, it is now generally known in this country,
that, in consequence of the reported breaking up of the Greenland
ice, an expedition has already left England, in two divisions,
the one for the purpose of exploring a northwest passage to Asia,
around the North American continent, by the way of Davis's Straits;
the other, for effecting the same object _by passing over the north

If Horace thought that man almost impiously daring who first
adventured upon the open sea, what shall we say of the hardihood of
the attempt to visit THE POLE?--the pole, which it is impossible
to contemplate without awe--which, in all probability, has never
been visited by any living being--where the dreary solitude has
never been broken by human voice--where the sound of war has never
been heard, and darkness and cold exert an almost undisputed
dominion! What must be the emotions of that man who first stands
upon the point of the earth's axis! Who, no longer partaking of the
revolution, in circles of latitude, slowly revolves on the axis of
his own body, once in twenty-four hours--to whom the sun does not
rise or set, but, moving in a course very oblique to the horizon,
makes scarcely a perceptible progress in twenty-four hours, and at
the end of three months, when he has attained his noon, is only 23°
28′, on the arc of a vertical circle, above the horizon--to whom
longitude is extinct, and who can move in no possible direction but
south--to whom the stars are a blank, and to whom the polar star,
could he see it, would appear in the zenith. Such are some of the
most obvious results of a position on the pole. The man who first
establishes himself on this sublime point, will have more reason
for self-congratulation than he who led the Persian myriads into
Greece, or he who pushed the Macedonians to the Indus.

On these interesting subjects, we beg leave to refer our readers to
a very able treatise in the Quarterly Review for February, 1818,
where all the topics at the head of this article are discussed with
much learning and ability.--We extract the following passage:

"If an open navigation should be discovered across the polar basin,
the passage over the pole or close to it, will be one of the most
interesting events to science that has ever occurred. It will be
the first time that the problem was practically solved with which
the learners of geography are sometimes puzzled--that of going the
shortest way between two places lying east and west, by taking
a direction of north and south. The passage of the pole will
require the undivided attention of the navigator. On approaching
this point, from which the northern coasts of Europe, Asia, and
America, and every part of them, will bear _south_ of him, nothing
can possibly assist him in determining his course, and keeping on
the right meridian of his destined place, but a correct knowledge
of the _time_: and yet no means of ascertaining that time will
be afforded him. The only _time_ he can have, with any degree of
certainty, as long as he remains on or near the pole, must be that
of Greenwich, and this he can know only from good chronometers;
for, from the general hazy state of the atmosphere, and
particularly about the horizon, and the sameness in the altitude of
the sun at every hour in the four-and-twenty, he must not expect to
obtain an approximation even of the apparent time, by observation,
and he will have no stars to assist him. All his ideas respecting
the heavens and the reckonings of his time will be reversed, and
the change not gradual, as in proceeding from the east to the west,
or the contrary, but instantaneous. The magnetic needle will point
to its unknown magnetic pole, or fly around from the point of the
bowl in which it is suspended, and that which indicated north will
now be south; the east will become the west, and the hour of noon
will be that of midnight.

"These curious circumstances will probably be considered to mark
the passage by the pole, as the most interesting of the two, while
it will perhaps be found equally easy. We have, indeed, very little
doubt, that if the polar basin should prove to be free from land
about the pole, it will also be free of ice. A sea of more than
two thousand miles in diameter, of unfathomable depth, (which
is the case between Greenland and Spitzbergen,) and in constant
motion, is not likely to be frozen over at any time. But if all
endeavours to discover a passage to the Pacific by either route
should prove unavailing, it will still be satisfactory to have
removed every doubt on this subject by ascertaining the fact. In
making the attempt, many objects interesting and important to
science will present themselves to the observation of those who
are engaged in the two expeditions. That which proceeds up Davis's
Straits, will have an opportunity of adjusting the geography of the
northeast coast of America, and the west coast of Greenland; and of
ascertaining whether the latter be not an island or an archipelago
of islands; and much curious information may be expected from both.

"They will ascertain, what is as yet but very imperfectly known,
the depth, the temperature, the saltness, and the specific gravity
of the sea-water in those high latitudes--the velocity of the
currents, the state of atmospherical electricity in the arctic
regions, and its connexion, at which we have glanced, with the
inclination, declination, and intensity of force of the magnetic
needle; on which subject alone, a collection of facts towards the
upper part of Davis's Straits would be worth a voyage of discovery.
It has, indeed, been long suspected that one of the magnetic
poles will be found in this neighbourhood, as in no part of the
world have such extraordinary phenomena been observed, or such
irregularities in the vibration and the variation of the needle.

"A comparison of the magnetic influence near the pole, with what
it has been observed to be on the equator, might lead to important
results; and the swinging of a pendulum as near the pole as can
be approached, to compare with the oscillations observed in the
Shetland Islands, and in the southern hemisphere, would be a great
point gained for science."

We have no room in this Number to consider the probability of
success in this attempt, nor the question, whether the breaking
up of the Greenland ice, and its passage to, and dissolution in,
the south, have been attended with a chilling influence on the
continents. That such a chilling effect might be extensively
exerted, is certainly credible. Approaching some of the icebergs,
in April 1805, on the shoals of Newfoundland, we were rendered very
sensible of the vicinity of such dangerous neighbours, by the great
chill in the air, long before they were visible; and when we had
passed them, the weather again grew milder.

Perhaps it militates against the probability of finding the
northern polar basin free of ice, that Captain Cook, in his
approximation to the southern pole, in January, 1773, when in
latitude 67° 15′ south, "could proceed no farther; the ice being
entirely closed to the south, in the whole extent from east to
west-southwest, without the least appearance of any opening."
The advanced season of the year did not, however, permit Captain
Cook to ascertain whether he could coast around this ice--whether
it was ultimately attached to land, or was a part of a vast
field extending to the south pole. This last is however highly
improbable, because being found about 23° from the pole, it is
hardly credible that it would occupy so extensive a region as to
embrace the pole, and, perhaps extend as much farther beyond;
especially as in similar latitudes in the opposite hemisphere,
navigation is comparatively free, and has been pushed even to more
than 80° of north latitude.

The scientific, as well as the commercial world, will wait with
no small impatience for the termination of the two grand arctic
expeditions, which are among the most original and daring, and may
be among the most interesting and momentous hitherto undertaken by


[1] I trust the public will pardon me for stating, that various
scientific friends, despairing of the revival of the Journal of Dr.
Bruce, had, for some time, pressed me to undertake the editing of a
Journal of Science. Considerations of personal friendship prevented
me from listening to such proposals till the decline of Dr. Bruce's
health, attended by the most alarming symptoms, rendered it very
obvious that his Journal would not be revived. Towards the close of
last November, in a personal interview, I communicated to him the
design of the present work, at the same time offering to waive it,
provided he considered it as probable that his own Journal would
be resumed. Of this, however, he gave no encouragement; but, on
the contrary, expressed his warm approbation of my undertaking,
authorized me to consider him as a contributor, and to make public
use of his name as a patron. It was not till after this that the
annunciation of this work took place; and it is certain that
had not all hope of the resumption of Dr. Bruce's Journal been
completely cut off, _this_ would not have appeared.

[2] The efforts of Stephen Elliott, Esq. of South Carolina, in
regard to the botany of the Southern States, are particularly
worthy of imitation and praise.

[3] From the MS. papers of the Connecticut Academy, now published
by permission.

[4] See Kollmann's Harmony, p. 13, &c.

[5] Tilloch's Phil. Mag. Vol. XXVIII. p. 140.

[6] The propriety of making 25 : 36 the true ratio of the 5th will
be manifest, when it is considered that this is the value of that
interval as sounded by voices and perfect instruments; when the
3ds which compose it are made perfect. This interval, as found in
the scale which has the fewest tempered concords possible referred
to at the beginning of this essay, ought to be regarded as the
true 5th, flattened by a comma, in the same manner as one of its
component 3ds will be allowed by all to be flattened.

[7] The propriety of this limitation will be manifest, when we
consider that in organ music, the chords are generally played
more full, and are more protracted, than in music for other keyed
instruments. It is harmony which constitutes its character, in
a higher degree than in music for other instruments. Hence the
harmony of the organ ought not to be impaired by including in our
computations any music not adapted to it. If a similar examination
of music for the piano-forte would afford a set of results
essentially different from those of this proposition, this is no
proof that it ought to have any concern in a system of temperament
designed primarily for the organ, but merely that the same
temperament cannot be equally adapted to different instruments. If,
as is probable, such an examination would give essentially the same
results, to introduce them would be superfluous.

[8] The smaller works of Phillips and Aikin were not then
published; had they been, they could not have superseded
Cleaveland; the same may be said of the respectable work of
Professor Kidd, of Oxford University.

[9] A vast region in the interior of New-York and Pennsylvania is
now fertilized by inexhaustible beds of sulphat of lime, (plaster
of Paris,) which, till a very few years since, were not even known
to exist.

Near New-Haven immense beds of green marble were discovered in
1811, during a mineralogical excursion: this beautiful material,
closely resembling the _verd antique_, is now, on the spot,
wrought into tables, fireplaces, and many other ornamental forms;
and although the farmers had made fences of it for 150 years, no
one suspected what it was till the study of mineralogy, in Yale
College, brought it to light.

[10] See Tilloch's Phil. Mag. Vol. XLII. p. 182.

[11] In the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of
Philadelphia this plant is called limosella tenuifolia.

[12] No return of this tree was made from Brunswick. The date of
the cherry-tree is therefore substituted, which is usually in
blossom at the same time.

[13] Mr. Correa de Serra, Minister of the King of Portugal.

[14] Communicated by a friend at Paris.

[15] See Transactions of the Connecticut Academy, and Bruce's
Journal, Vol. I. p. 199.



  Art. I. Remarks on the Geology and Mineralogy of a
  section of Massachusetts, on Connecticut
  river, with a part of New-Hampshire and
  Vermont, by Edward Hitchcock, A.M. Principal
  of Deerfield Academy                                         106

  Art. II. On the Prairies and Barrens of the West, by
  Caleb Atwater, Esq.                                          116

  Art. III. Account of the Coal Mines in the vicinity of
  Richmond, Virginia, by Mr. John Grammer, Jun.                125

  Art IV. Sketch of the Geology and Mineralogy of a
  part of the State of Indiana, by Mr. W. B. Stilson           131

  Art. V. New localities of Agate, Chalcedony, Chabasie,
  Stilbite, Analcime, Titanium, Prehnite, &c.                  134

  Art. VI. Account of the Strata perforated by, and of
  the Minerals found in, the great adit to the
  Southampton Lead Mine, by Mr. Amos Eaton,
  Lecturer on Geology, Botany, &c.                             136

  Art. VII. On the Peat of Dutchess County, by the Rev.
  F. C. Schaeffer                                              139

  Art. VIII. Notices of Geology in the West-Indies, by
  Dr. Nugent                                                   140

  Art. IX. Discovery of Native Crystallized Carbonate of
  Magnesia on Staten-Island, with a Notice of
  its Geology, by James Pierce, Esq.                           142

  Art. X. On a curious substance found with the native
  Nitre of Kentucky and of Africa, by Samuel
  Brown, M.D.                                                  146


  Art. XI. Description of species of Sponges observed on
  the shores of Long-Island, by C. S. Rafinesque,
  Esq.                                                         149

  Art. XII. Memoir on the Xanthium maculatum, by the
  same                                                         151


  Art. XIII. Description of the Phalæna Devastator--the
  Insect that produces the Cut-worm, by Mr.
  John P. Brace                                                154

  Art. XIV. Description of the Exoglossum, a new genus of
  Fresh-water Fish, by C. S. Rafinesque, Esq.                  155


  Art. XV. On the Revolving Steam-Engine of Mr. Samuel
  Morey, communicated by John L. Sullivan, Esq.                157

  Art. XVI. Cautions regarding Fulminating Powders             168


  Art. XVII.[16] Account of a Parisian method of obtaining
  Gelatine from bones, by Mr. Isaac Doolittle                  170

  Art. XVIII. On the use of Distilled Seawater for domestic
  purposes--from the Annales de Chimie, &c.                    172


  Art. XIX. Essay on Musical Temperament, by Professor
  Fisher                                                       176

  Art. XX. Notice of Col. Trumbull's Picture of the
  Declaration of Independence                                  200


  Art. XXI. An Address to the People of the Western Country    203

  Art. XXII. Extract of a letter from Col. Gibbs, on the
  effect of light on the Magnetical power                      207

  Art. XXIII. On a new Lamp, without flame--from the
  Annals of Philosophy                                      _ibid._


[16] _ERRATUM._

In the text this Article was, by inadvertence, numbered XIX, and
all the succeeding Articles of this Number are marked _two_ higher
than they ought to be.





ART. I. _Remarks on the Geology and Mineralogy of a Section of
Massachusetts on Connecticut River, with a Part of New-Hampshire
and Vermont; by_ EDWARD HITCHCOCK, A. M. _Principal of Deerfield

The geology of this tract, from a few miles south of Northampton in
Massachusetts, to the north boundary of Brattleborough in Vermont,
and of Chesterfield in New-Hampshire, is shown on the subjoined
map. The primitive formation, except the argillite, is coloured
vermilion; the secondary, blue; and the alluvial, gamboge yellow,
according to Cleaveland. The alluvial part is elevated above
the bed of Connecticut river from 10 to 100 feet, and, in most
places, reposes on red sandstone. The soil in the northern part is
generally argillaceous; but in the southern more siliceous. The
secondary formation consists chiefly of detached eminences that
rise abruptly from the plain, and are composed of red sandstone and
puddingstone alternating, except the elevations A and B, (Holyoke
and Tom) and a part of the range CD, passing through Deerfield
and Greenfield, which are greenstone. The part coloured rose-red
consists of argillite, sometimes alternating with mica slate,
siliceous slate, or chlorite slate. It is thus coloured to show
the extent of the argillite, and not from a belief that this rock
is of the transition class; for in this region the argillite is
undoubtedly primitive. Some quarries of this rock have been opened
in Massachusetts; and in Vermont are extensively wrought. I have
not learnt how far the argillite extends northward in Vermont and
New-Hampshire. Its strata are almost perpendicular, inclining a few
degrees to the west.

The primitive region on the west side of Connecticut river,
included by the map, is made up of mica slate, as a prevailing
rock, particularly in the northern part. Hornblende slate sometimes
alternates with this, and sienite appears in various places, though
its strata are generally thin. Limestone also occurs in Deerfield,
Conway, Colrain, &c. of a dull brown colour. It contains so large
a proportion of silex that it is often but little removed from
granular quartz. Lime for building has sometimes been obtained from
it. A range of granite, containing veins of lead ore, appears at
Southampton, and proceeds to Hatfield. North of this, the other
rocks cover it, and it does not again rise within the limits of the

Sienite is the prevailing rock on the east side of Connecticut
river in the primitive region, more particularly in the southern
part. In some places a narrow stratum of mica slate lies next
to the conglomerate of the secondary formation, and a low range
of graphic and common granite has been observed in Amherst and
Leverett, lying next to the mica slate. Other veins of granite
also traverse the sienite; and gneiss occurs in many places. The
proportion of hornblende in the sienite is generally small, and
mica is often present in considerable proportion. Porphyritic
sienite is common in this quarter, and steatite occurs in its
eastern part.

Most of the primitive region on the map is broken and mountainous,
being made up of parallel ridges and detached eminences. The
strata run nearly north and south, and dip to the east at angles
between 20° and 60°. It would be easy to extend the map on the
west to the top of Hoosack mountain, since the country is all
primitive; and on the east the primitive continues, with a few
exceptions, to the ocean. The map might also be extended to the
boundary of Connecticut, by prolonging the primitive ranges with
some divergency, and colouring the intermediate space secondary,
except a narrow tract on the east side of Connecticut river, which
is alluvial. These extensions were not thought necessary.

In the town of Gill, at E, there is a cataract in Connecticut
river, from 30 to 40 feet in height; and it is believed that
the alluvial region, and part of the secondary shown on the map
from this fall to the place where the river passes between mount
Holyoke and Tom, was formerly the bed of a lake: for the logs are
still found undecayed in many places, from 10 to 20 feet below the
surface; the river has evidently worn a passage between Holyoke and
Tom: many of the hills on the northern part, and the sandstone on
the plain, bear the marks of having been washed by water, and the
channels of two rivers are still visible in Deerfield, the one 30,
and the other 100 feet above the present bed of Connecticut river.
Between mount Tom and the mountains west, there is a secondary
plain of sufficient height to throw back the water over the
supposed bed of the lake, before a passage was worn between Holyoke
and Tom. South of these hills commences another alluvial and
secondary tract, extending on both sides of the river to Haddam, in
Connecticut, where the river passes between mountains, and perhaps
this region also was the bed of a lake.

The plain on which the village of Deerfield stands, with the
adjoining meadows, is sunk 50 or 60 feet below the general alluvial
tract, and was undoubtedly the bed of a pond, or small lake, that
remained after the larger one of which we have spoken had subsided.
When this larger lake decreased, Deerfield river was cut off from
a communication with the Connecticut by the mountain CD, and the
plain extending westward from this mountain. There is a tradition,
derived from the aboriginals of Deerfield, that the passage in
which Deerfield river now runs through the mountain CD, was begun
by a squaw with a clam-shell.

On the margin of these meadows, at considerable elevation,
numerous small conical excavations appear. On digging below the
surface, stones are found calcined by fire. These are probably the
spots where Indian wigwams formerly stood. Many vestiges of the
aboriginals are frequently found in Deerfield, such as beads, stone
pots, mortars, pipes, axes, and the barbs of arrows and pikes. Near
the village they had a burial-ground, where many skeletons have
been uncovered. A roll of human hair was lately found here, by Mr.
J. C. Hoyt of Deerfield, three-fourths of an inch in diameter, and
three inches long, closely tied by a string made of the hide of
some animal, which string was encircled by brass or copper clasps
greatly oxidized; but the hair and string were in a good state of
preservation, though they must have lain there more than a century.
In the meadows, logs, leaves, butternuts, and walnuts are found
undecayed, 15 feet below the surface; and stumps of trees have been
observed at that depth standing yet firmly where they once grew.
In the same meadows, a few years since, several toads were dug up
from 15 feet below the surface, and three feet in gravel. They soon
recovered from a torpid state, and hopped away.

The small range of hills beginning at the south line of
Deerfield, and terminating in Gill, deserves description. At its
commencement on the south, a conical hill, called Sugar Loaf,
of red conglomerate, rises abruptly from the plain 500 feet.
The appearance of this hill, as you come from the south, is
picturesque, and it is an interesting feature of the country.
The range becomes higher for three miles, where, at its greatest
elevation, it is 730 feet above the bed of Deerfield river. The
west side of the mountain is precipitous, and in some places naked.
The ascent on the other side is gentle.

Both sides of this hill are sandstone and puddingstone, frequently
alternating: though these are most extensive on the west side, and
as we rise the puddingstone predominates. The strata dip to the
east about 10 degrees. Near the centre of this range is a ridge of
greenstone, with a mural face on the west, and amorphous masses
lying at the base, half way up to its summit. This ridge does
not rise so high as the puddingstone on the west of it, as may be
seen in the view of strata with the map. It commences on the west
bank of Connecticut river, about a mile north of the hill C, and
increases in elevation nearly to the spot where it disappears at
the fall of the river in Gill. This rock does not appear to rest on
sandstone, but to descend through it, where there is an opportunity
for observation. Deerfield river has worn a passage through the
sandstone and greenstone 150 feet deep, and the greenstone passes
under its bed, and the sandstone, at a few rods distant lies on
each side of the greenstone. A similar fact has been noticed at
the fall in Connecticut river, in Gill. Yet I have coloured this
greenstone secondary on the map; for it is certain that Mount Tom
rests on sandstone, and it is stated by Professor Silliman, that
the same rock does in Connecticut. Could we penetrate deeper below
the surface, it is probable the same would be found to be the case
with this greenstone.

As stated above, this rock disappears near the cataract in Gill,
and it is succeeded by puddingstone. But four miles farther north,
it again emerges in Bernardstone, though it rises but little above
the surface. Here its character is changed. The hornblende is
more crystalline, and the rock becomes decidedly primitive, as
you approach a mountain of argillite and mica slate, into which
it passes, and no greenstone has been observed north of this. It
terminates not far from the line of Vermont. The red sandstone and
conglomerate also terminate on the opposite side of the river in

The greenstone in the above described range, is of a finer texture
than the same rock in Connecticut; and the feldspar, in some
specimens, is scarcely discernible with a microscope. Indeed, in
many instances, the eye would decide the rock to be basalt. Much
of it is fissile, the laminæ varying from half an inch to a foot
in thickness. This is most perceptible among the loose masses;
but it exists also in that in place. Whether this circumstance be
accidental, I will not attempt to decide.

A large proportion of the greenstone of our vicinity constitutes
the base of amygdaloid. The imbedded substances are calcareous
spar, quartz, chalcedony, analcime, prehnite, &c. as will be
more particularly mentioned hereafter. Globular concretions of
greenstone are common in this amygdaloid, several inches in
diameter, and of greater specific gravity than the other parts
of the rock. A great number of columns occur in the same range,
having from three to six sides. Some of them are quite regular,
and are well articulated, exhibiting at their joints considerable
concavities and convexities. They are from one to thirty feet long,
and, in their natural position, incline a few degrees to the east,
as may be seen in the view of strata with the map; A few have been
noticed that make lateral curves. One of these hexagonal columns
measures at one end as follows:--Diagonals, 27, 29, and 29½ inches;
sides, 16½, 13¼, 11½, 17, 11½, and 16½ inches. The convexity of
this column is a little more than an inch. The best instances of
these prisms occur one mile east from the village of Deerfield.

Masses of greenstone are found at considerable distance from the
range, among the puddingstone. One has been noticed weighing
many tons, a hundred rods from the range of greenstone, and on
much higher ground. Some of these scattered fragments contain
chalcedony. A specimen of petrosiliceous porphyry has been found
among the same puddingstone, and also a mass of singular, though
not well defined, amygdaloid, whose base is similar to wacke, and
imbedded substances are calcareous spar, chlorite, and green earth.

The elevation in the north part of Sunderland, called Toby, from
800 to 900 feet high, is chiefly conglomerate, red, brown, or
greenish, which, in some parts, alternates with chlorite slate,
secondary argillite, and a sandstone that seems to be passing into
gray wacke slate. Some of the imbedded masses in this puddingstone
are quite large, its cement is frequently calcareous, its aspect
is singular, and it is very different from the puddingstone before
described, On the opposite side of the river. At the foot of this
mountain, in the bottom of Connecticut river, distinct impressions
of fish are found on a schistose rock, like the one above mentioned
as passing into gray wacke slate. This same species of slate occurs
in several other places at the bottom of Connecticut river, as at
the fall in Gill. In this last place bituminous shale has been

In Mount Toby, in Sunderland, is a cave nearly 150 feet above the
bed of Connecticut river. It opens to the north and west, forming
a quarter of a circle, is 130 feet in extent, 60 feet deep, and
from 3 to 20 wide. A little to the south of it, is a fissure in
the puddingstone, formed by a separation of the rock, ten feet
wide, and as deep as the cave. So perfect is this division, that it
appears as if cloven down by the sword of some Titan. Perhaps this
cave and fissure were formed by the washing of the waters of the
lake we have mentioned on the sandstone and conglomerate beneath;
thus causing the superincumbent rock to fall and separate. There
is no appearance of any other convulsion. Imperfect, calcareous
stalactites are found in this cave.

The falls in Connecticut river, at E, are not unworthy of notice.
The river here is about 40 rods wide, and the height of the main
cataract, raised considerably by an artificial dam, is 30 feet. The
fall continues two miles. On the north bank you view the cataract
from elevated ground, and can see the river nearly a mile above
and below--above, perfectly smooth and calm, below, forming a
quarter of a circle, and tumbling among the broken rocks. On the
opposite side of the river are a few buildings, the commencement
of a canal, and, behind these, moderately elevated hills, covered
with woods. Two rocky islands near the middle of the descending
sheet, and another thirty rods below, add much to the beauty of the
view. Looking from the southeast shore, you have a partial prospect
of the falls, and a view of an amphitheatre of greenstone hills,
through which a small river empties. The pleasure derived from the
view proceeds more from its wildness than its sublimity.

The position of the hills, boundaries, and rivers, on the
accompanying map, may not, in all cases, be precisely correct. The
general outlines were enlarged by a pentegraph from Carleton's
map of Massachusetts, and the intermediate objects were placed
chiefly by the eye; their relative situations being determined
by travelling over the ground, and viewing them from different
elevations. The boundaries of the several formations have not been
so carefully noticed near the angles of the map as in the central
parts. Of their correctness generally, however, I am confident. The
latitude and longitude of Deerfield, from which those on the map
were marked, were obtained by taking a mean of the observations
given by Gen. E. Hoyt, in the Transactions of the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences, and of twelve lunar observations since made.
The result is, Lat. 42° 32' 32". Long. 72° 39' from Greenwich.

With the map is given a view of the strata of rocks from Hoosack
mountain to eleven miles east of Connecticut river, on a line
nearly east and west, passing through Deerfield. The horizontal
distances are laid down from a scale: the elevations are assumed.
The principal rocks only are coloured; for it is very difficult
to determine the breadth of many, since they frequently alternate
with one another. I have not examined the country on the east side
of Connecticut river with sufficient care to be able to extend the
section on that side more than a few miles.

It may not be amiss to mention, that Mount Holyoke, so much
celebrated for the delightful view from its top, has been found,
with a sextant, to be 830 feet above Connecticut river. Its height
has been frequently overrated.

The mineralogy of this section of the country has been but
imperfectly explored. I shall mention those minerals only of which
I have obtained specimens, and whose localities have not been
noticed by mineralogists.

_Quartz_--several varieties.

  1. _Rock Crystal_--abundant. Some good specimens are found
  in Conway, on feldspar, with the usual hexagonal, prismatic
  crystals, and these crystals cross each other in all directions.

  2. _Irised Quartz_--found in Leyden.

  3. _Granular Quartz_--in Deerfield.

  4. _Radiated Quartz_--in Whately and Shelburne.

  5. _Blue Quartz_--in rolled masses on the banks of Deerfield

  6. _Greasy Quartz_--in same place.

  7. _Pseudomorphous Quartz_--in greenstone, Deerfield.

  8. _Lamellar Quartz_--in same place. The laminæ sometimes
  penetrate crystals of common quartz.

  9. _Tubular_, or _Pectinated Quartz_--in same place.

  10. _Quartz Geodes_--in same place.

_Prase_--in the north part of Sunderland. (Not good specimens.)

_Amethyst_--in Greenstone, Deerfield: the colour is not deep, but

_Chalcedony_--in same place--considerably abundant, but generally
in small masses.

_Carnelian_--in same place, not plenty. The chalcedony, in some
specimens, seems to be passing into cacholong, and the carnelian
into sardonyx.

_Agate_--in same place. It is made up of chalcedony, carnelian, and
quartz. They are generally small, but some are elegant.

_Jasper_, red, and yellow--found in rolled masses on the banks of
Deerfield river and in Leyden. Some have been found imperfectly
striped. It occurs frequently as it was formed by the aboriginals
into barbs for pikes and arrows.

_Petrosilex_--on the banks of Deerfield river--not good specimens.

_Feldspar_--the red variety occurs in puddingstone, Deerfield. It
is not necessary to mention any other locality of a mineral so

_Hornblende_--very abundant--mostly black in this vicinity.

_Mica_--this is very abundant on the east side of Connecticut
river. Some crystals of it have been found in Amherst.

_Talc_--in Shutesbury.

_Steatite._ The localities of this are seen on the section. The
aboriginals formed many articles from this mineral, as pots, pipes,

_Chlorite_--in Shutesbury: also in amygdaloid, Deerfield. In
Deerfield academy there are some Indian pipes of this mineral, well

_Green Earth_--in small quantities, in amygdaloid, Deerfield.

_Schorl_--the black variety occurs in Pelham, Shutesbury, and
Orange, Mass., and in Brattleborough, Vermont.

_Epidote_--in Deerfield, Shutesbury, Leyden, and Pelham, and in
Athol, Worcester county. The specimens poor.

_Tremolite_--in the west part of Leyden, near Green river. The rock
in this region is chiefly mica slate, and the quantity of tremolite
is very great. Tons of it might be easily collected.

_Cyanite_, or _Sappare_--in Deerfield, in mica slate; discovered by
Dr. S. W. Williams.

_Actynolite_--rare, found in Shutesbury.

_Serpentine_--found in Leyden in rolled masses. Some of the
specimens admit a fine polish, and the ground is handsomely
variegated. It has not been noticed _in situ_.

_Asbestus_--compact, in Pelham.

_Garnets_--very plenty in Conway, Deerfield, Shelburne, &c. Good
specimens of the melanite occur in Conway.

_Native Alum_--in Leyden, in small quantities, efflorescing on
argillaceous slate.

_Sulphur_--in Conway, Shelburne, and Warwick, efflorescing on mica

_Prehnite_--in greenstone, Deerfield, encrusting the columns and in
radiated masses, but rarely crystallized. The veins of it, when in
place, are nearly perpendicular.

_Zeolite_--in same place, not abundant. Some good specimens of the
radiated variety are found.

_Chabasie_--in same place, considerably abundant. No crystals have
yet been found whose sides exceed a quarter of an inch. It occurs
in the veins of the greenstone, in geodes, on balls of zeolite, on
chalcedony, on lamellar quartz, &c.

_Stilbite_--in same place, not abundant. It is commonly associated
with chabasie, and the crystals, though small, are well defined.

_Analcime_--in same place, very abundant, and is associated with
quartz and amethyst, which are sometimes enclosed by analcime. It
generally occurs in cylindrical, reniform, and radiated masses. A
few perfect crystals only have been observed.

_Laminated Calcareous Spar_--in the same place, not uncommon.

Chalcedony, carnelian, agate, amethyst, prehnite, zeolite,
chabasie, stilbite, and analcime, have been found nearly in the
same place; and it may not be amiss to observe, that this spot is
distant from Deerfield Academy about one mile, and bears from the
same, by a true meridian, E. 2°, 15′ S.

_Iron Sand_--found in considerable quantity near the falls in
Connecticut river, on the Montague shore.

_Sulphate of Iron_--in Conway, in small quantities, efflorescing on
mica slate.

_Sulphuret of Iron_--in Halifax, Vermont, in abundance; also in
Charlemont, Mass., Deerfield, &c.

_Magnetic Oxide of Iron_--very common in the region west of
Connecticut river. I have observed it in Athol, Worcester county.

_Specular Oxide of Iron_--some veins of this ore occur in Hawley,
Bernardstown, and Warwick, and have been wrought to a small extent.

_Micaceous Oxide of Iron_--in the iron mine in Hawley.

_Green Carbonate of Copper_--in greenstone, in Greenfield. This
ore constitutes a vein on the bank of Connecticut river, passing
into the hill on one side, and under the river on the other. It has
never been wrought, nor, indeed, is its locality publicly known.

_Copper Pyrites_--in the same vein, not abundant, at the surface.

_Sulphate of Barytes_--in the same place, constituting the
immediate walls of the vein. Its breadth on the wall varies from an
inch to a foot, and the breadth of the vein is 6 or 8 feet.

_Galena_--in Whately. This is probably from a continuation of the
vein of this ore that appears at Montgomery, Southampton, and
Hatfield. A single crystal has been found in the same range, in
Greenfield, twelve miles north of Whately; but it was not in place.

_Red Oxyde of Titanium_--in Leyden, crystallized on quartz and
tremolite, chiefly on the latter; colour brownish red--specific
gravity 4.232; scratches glass, handsomely geniculated, and
sometimes several geniculations in the same specimen; in one as
many as six could be perceived.

_Eagle Stone_, or _Nodular argillaceous Oxide of Iron_--one
specimen on the banks of Deerfield river.

_Rose-red Quartz_--a loose mass in alluvial soil, Deerfield.

_Red Oxide of Titanium_--in Shelburne.

I would acknowledge my peculiar obligations to Professor Silliman,
of New-Haven, and to Dr. David Hunt, of Northampton, Mass. for
the very generous assistance they have given me in a commencement
of the study of mineralogy, and for their liberal aid in this
particular communication. Their kindness, it is believed, will
not soon be forgotten. To several others, also, I am indebted for
communicating facts of importance.

_Deerfield, October, 1817._

ART. II. _On the Prairies and Barrens of the West, by_ CALEB
ATWATER, ESQ. _in Letters to the Editor_.

  CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio, May 28, 1818.

  _Dear Sir_,

I send you for publication in the Journal of Science, an Essay on
the Prairies and Barrens found in this country.

_Description of the Prairies._

_Prairie_ is a French word, signifying a meadow, but is here
applied only to natural meadows. They are found in all the states
and territories west of the Allegany mountains, more or less
numerous, of greater or less extent. They are covered with a
coarse kind of grass, which, before the country is settled in
their vicinity, grows to the height of six or seven feet. After
these natural meadows are fed upon by domestic animals, the grass
does not grow to a greater height than it does in common pastures.
Sometimes this grass is intermixed with weeds and plum-bushes.
Some of those prairies are dry, while others are moist. Pickaway
Plains, in Pickaway county, in the State of Ohio, lying a small
distance south of this place, are nearly seven miles in length, and
about three miles in width, on ground considerably elevated above
the Scioto river, almost perfectly level, and, in their native
state, were covered with a great quantity of grass, some weeds and
plum-bushes; and in the most elevated places, there were a few
trees. This was one great prairie.

Sandusky Plains, lying on the high ground between the head waters
of the Whetstone branch of the Scioto river, and the waters of
streams running into Lake Erie, are still more extensive than
those of Pickaway, covered with a coarse, tall grass, intermixed
with weeds, with here and there a tree, presenting to the eye a
landscape of great extent.

The moist prairies generally lie along some stream, or at the head
of one, on level land, or on that which gently descends. The moist
prairies are too wet for trees to grow on them; and whether moist
or dry, the soil, for a greater or less depth, is always alluvial,
resting on pebbles and sand, such as are found at the bottom of
rivers, ponds, and lakes. In some instances, the writer is credibly
informed, that the shells of muscles are found imbedded in the
pebbles and sand. That these shells, such as abound in our rivers,
ponds, and lakes, should be found in low prairies along the banks
of waters which frequently overflow them, excites no wonder, nor
even surprise; but that these shells should be found thus imbedded
in pebbles and sand underneath several feet of alluvial soil, in
situations more than one hundred feet above the waters of any
stream now in existence, is calculated to perplex the mind of the
superficial observer. These prairies are found in the western half
of the State of Ohio, and north of the hills adjacent to the river
of that name. They are also found in every state and territory west
of the Alleganies, from the great northern lakes on the north,
to the Mexican Gulf on the south; from the western foot of the
Allegany mountains, to the eastern one of the Rocky mountains, up
the Missouri. In summer, the grass which spontaneously covers them,
feeds immense herds of cattle; in winter, the hay that is cut on
them, with a little Indian corn or maize, feeds and fattens the
same herds. Some of these prairies extend as far as the eye can
reach; others contain only a few perches of ground.

_Description of the Barrens._

But besides these prairies, there are also extensive tracts of
country in this part of the Union which deserve and shall receive
our notice; they are called "_Barrens_." From their appellation,
"barrens," the person unacquainted with them is not to suppose
them thus called from their sterility, because most of them are
quite the reverse. These barrens are found in a level country,
with here and there a gentle rise, only a few feet higher than the
land around it. On these little rises, for they are not hills,
trees grow, and grass also; but grass and weeds are the only
occupants of the soil where there is no rise of ground. The soil
is alluvial to greater or less depth in these barrens, though on
some of the highest rises there is little or none; the lower the
ground the deeper the alluvion. On these gentle rises, where there
is no alluvion, we find stiff, blue clay, and no pebbles. Under
the alluvial black soil, in the lower grounds, we find pebbles
similar to those in the prairies, owing to similar causes. On the
little ridges, wherever the land is not too moist, the oak or the
hickory has taken possession, and there grows to a moderate height,
in clusters. It would seem, that whenever the land had become
sufficiently dry for an acorn or a hickory-nut to sprout, take
root, and grow, it did so; and from one or more of these trees,
in time, others have grown around them in such clusters as we
now behold. Where the land is lower, the soil deeper, more moist
and more fertile, the grass was too thick, and the soil too wet,
for such kind of trees to grow in as were found in the immediate
vicinity. Imagine, then, natural meadows, of various dimensions,
and of every figure which the imagination can conceive, with here
and there a gentle rise of ground, decked with a few scattering
trees or a thick cluster of them, and bearing a tall, coarse
grass, which is thin on the rises, but on the lower grounds thick
and luxuriant; imagine, also, a rill of a reddish colour scarcely
meandering through ground a little lower than the surrounding
plain, and you will have a very correct idea of the appearance of
these barrens. They are _generally_ (not always) found on what,
in our western dialect, is called _second bottom_, and not on a
level with any streams of magnitude, but rather at their sources.
To mention all the counties of this State where these prairies and
barrens are found, would be too tedious, and illy comport with the
object which we have in view. We shall therefore content ourselves
with describing those found in the north half of Fayette county,
and the adjoining county of Madison, which may be said to be almost
entirely one great barren of more than forty miles extent from
north to south, and generally half as much in breadth from east to
west. The great barren in Fayette, Madison, and, we may add, in
the counties still north of them, is on land elevated from fifty
to one hundred feet above the level of the Scioto river, into
which the streams that have their sources in this tract of country
generally run. This land lies so level that the waters stand on it
too long for grain to thrive equally with grass, unless, indeed,
the farmer should dig a long drain, which is easily effected by the
plough, with a little assistance from the hoe and the spade. But as
nature seems to have intended this tract of country for the raising
of cattle instead of grain, the husbandman has listened to the
suggestion, and in this great barren are found some thousands of
the finest cattle which the State affords. Here the horse, the ox,
and the swine feed, thrive, and fatten with little expense to their
owner; but sheep do not, and never will, thrive on prairie grass,
or wet grounds. Fruit-trees, the peach, the apple, the plum, &c.
do very well when planted on the gently rising grounds, where the
hickory or the oak had once stood. Fruit-trees, such as have been
named, thrive very well also on the dry prairies. On the eastern
side of the Allegany mountains there neither is, nor was there
ever, any thing like these prairies and barrens, if we except those
found in the western part of New-York, in the Genesee country, and
in the vicinity of the lakes in that quarter. These, the writer of
this saw nearly thirty years since, and before that country was
much settled. Those prairies were similar in appearance to ours in
the west, and were, beyond doubt, formed by similar means.

_Speculations on the Origin of the Prairies and Barrens._

What were the causes which contribute to form these natural
meadows? That water was the principal agent in their formation, we
very little doubt; but this is not the common opinion. According
to that opinion, our prairies and barrens, and especially the
latter, were occasioned entirely by the burning of the woods by the
Indians, in order to take the wild game. Let us try this opinion by
the indubitable appearances exhibited by these prairies and barrens.

They are invariably found in a level country, or in one which is
nearly so; and the soil is generally, if not always, more moist
than that which is uneven and hilly. Would not the leaves, where
the land is dry, burn over with as great facility, or even with
greater facility, than the grass would where the land is wet? Would
there not be more wild game where they could find their food in
plenty, such as acorns and hickory nuts, on which they feed in
winter, than on land where no food, except dry grass and weeds,
were to be found? It is well known that these prairies and barrens
could not be burnt over when the vegetable productions which cover
them were growing. At the only season when it is possible to burn
them, that is in winter, to what kind of regions do the wild
animals resort? Is it not to the thick woods? Every hunter will
answer in the affirmative. For the space of twenty-five years,
the writer of this lived in the vicinity of Indians, and from
information on which he relies, as well as from his own actual
observation, he confidently avers that the Indians neither are,
nor ever were, in the habit of firing the woods in order to take
game. Erroneous information first propagated such an opinion,
and blind credulity has extended it down to us. Another opinion,
equally groundless, prevails to a considerable extent; and that
is, that these prairies have all been heretofore cultivated by the
aborigines, and that the grass having overspread these plains,
prevented the growth of trees on them. The Indians, it is to be
presumed, never cultivated any other grain than maize, or Indian
corn, and yet we see few or no corn-hills in any part of this
country. In the western part of New-York, before it was settled by
its present inhabitants, thousands and thousands of acres were to
be seen, where the trees were as large as any in the forest, and
yet the rows of corn-hills were plainly discernible. I refer in a
particular manner to what is now called Cayuga county. There the
growth of grass had not prevented the growth of trees, nor did it
here. We know that some of these prairies were cultivated by the
Indians, but never to any very considerable extent. This country
never was thickly settled by Indians, like the shores of the
Atlantic and the banks of the rivers running into it. No, it was
the ancestors of the Peruvians and the Mexicans who lived here in
great numbers, before they migrated to South America.

The question then recurs, by what powerful means were these
prairies and barrens formed?

That water was the principal agent, we infer from the fact, that
the soil is always alluvial to greater or less depth; the former we
call prairie, the latter barren. But how could the country from the
southern shore of Lake Erie to Chillicothe, a distance of more than
one hundred and fifty miles from north to south, ever be covered
with water long enough to form alluvial soil, in many places from
four to six feet in depth? I answer, that the Niagara river, the
present outlet of Lake Erie, has worn away several hundred feet,
and in that way the lake is lowered in the same proportion. The
high land, composed entirely of sand, originally extending from the
Ohio northerly upwards of forty miles, to Chillicothe, has been
worn through by the Scioto river; and the waters which once for
ages covered the whole country north of the hills along the Ohio
river have been drained off, and the dry land appears where once
stood the waters of lakes Erie and Michigan, then forming but one
great lake. I am fully impressed with the belief, that were the
bottom of Niagara river as high as it once was, the upper lakes
would now, as formerly, empty themselves into the Ohio by the
Scioto and Miami rivers, and into the Mississippi by the Illinois.
I might proceed to examine every part of the country where prairies
and barrens are found; but they have all been formed by the same
agent, and that is water. An objection to this opinion may be
raised by some, that these prairies and barrens are frequently
found in the counties of Delaware, Champaign, Madison, Fayette,
&c. on ground considerably elevated. Are they higher than the
hills near Chillicothe? From a careful inspection, but without any
instruments, I am convinced that they are none of them as high.

There is no perpendicular fall of water, but merely a gradual
descent, from Columbus to the Ohio; nay, there is no fall from the
very source of the Scioto to its mouth. Every one acquainted with
hydrostatics, knows that water will run briskly where the descent
is only a few inches in a mile. The writer believes that the
Scioto, from its source to the Ohio river, does not descend more
than one hundred feet, and that the present surface of Lake Erie
is about on a level with the Ohio in a freshet; that before the
channel of Niagara river was deepened, as it evidently has been, by
the attrition of that mighty stream; and before the hills adjacent
to the Ohio were worn down by the waters of the Scioto, the whole
country north of Chillicothe, where these hills commence, to Lake
Erie inclusive, was covered with water, except the very highest
hills in the counties of Greene, &c. which were then islands. What
tends to corroborate this opinion is, that on these high grounds we
find limestone and other rocks, and indications of gypsum; but no
alluvion, and none of those fragments and ruins which are produced
by water acting mechanically upon a country for a long space of
time. We might mention other parts of country where prairies and
barrens abound, and which have been formed by water. Those along
Greene river, in Kentucky, have evidently been covered by the
waters of that river. The bed of that stream has been deepened by
the constant flowing of the water along its channel; the water is
drained off, and the prairies and barrens now occupy the soil which
the water had made and formerly covered. The prairies above the
falls of Hockhocking, along that river, have evidently been formed
in the same way, and owe their origin and appearances to similar
causes. There is near Lancaster, on the last-mentioned river in the
State of Ohio, and near the great road, a gentle rise of ground in
the prairie, which has every appearance of having been an island,
and is so called by the people of the vicinity.

In fine, wherever prairies and barrens are found, there, for a
long space of time, water once stood, but was gradually drained
off. Else why alluvial soil to such a depth, in low situations,
and growing thinner as we ascend on ground more elevated? Else why
do we find rocks in more elevated tracts of country, and not in
prairies or barrens? Else why do we find no alluvion, no grass, but
a thick growth of ancient forest-trees on the higher lands? Else
why do we find beneath the alluvion of the prairies, pebbles and
shells similar to those at the bottom of lakes and ponds? Else why
do the higher grounds to this moment present the appearances of
so many islands? And all these indications where no stream now in
existence could by possibility have reached them?

That the waters which once covered so great a part of this State
(Ohio) were drawn off gradually, we infer from the fact, that
there is not a single indication of the effects of an earthquake
or volcano, from the foot of the Allegany to the banks of the
Mississippi: in this region not a stone nor a layer of earth has
been misplaced, nor its position changed.

But an interesting inquiry here presents itself. Were the hills
along the Ohio, before they were worn away by the streams which
now empty themselves into that river, ever high enough to raise
the water to the north of them to such a degree that it would
overspread the country where the prairies and barrens are now
found? Although the height of these hills has not been ascertained
by the proper instruments, yet from appearances, not to be mistaken
by any person who examines them and the country towards Lake Erie,
these hills are much higher than any land between them and that
lake. And from certain indications, (as already remarked,) had not
the bed of the Niagara been deepened by the running of that mighty
river, Lake Erie, as formerly, would empty itself into the Ohio by
the Scioto and Miami; and the great northern lakes would once more
discharge themselves into the Mississippi by the Illinois. Lake
Ontario, from some cause, (possibly an earthquake, or the wearing
away of its outlet, or both,) is considerably lower than it was
formerly: in that way the land along its banks, once covered by its
waters, is drained, presenting appearances exactly similar to those
seen in many of our prairies.

_Miscellaneous Remarks on the Prairies and Barrens relative to
their Picturesque Features, and to Agriculture and Health, as
affected by the peculiarities of these Tracts._

To the traveller, who for several days traverses these prairies
and barrens, their appearance is quite uninviting, and even
disagreeable. He may travel from morning until night, and make good
speed, but on looking around him, he fancies himself at the very
spot whence he started. No pleasant variety of hill and dale, no
rapidly running brook delights the eye, and no sound of woodland
music strikes the ear; but, in their stead, a dull uniformity of
prospect "spread out immense." Excepting here and there a tree,
or a slight elevation of ground, it is otherwise a dead level,
covered with tall weeds and coarse grass. The sluggish rivulets, of
a reddish colour, scarcely move perceptibly, and their appearance
is as uninviting to the eye, as their taste is disgusting to the
palate. Such are the prairies and barrens of the west; but, in
order to make ample amends for any deficiency, nature has made them
exuberantly fertile. The farmer who settles upon them, by raising
cattle, becomes rich with little labour. He ditches those which
are too moist for grain; he ploughs and fences them, and raises
from seventy to one hundred bushels of maize or Indian corn to the
acre, without ever hoeing it. The United States own thousands
and thousands of acres of such land in these western States and
territories, which, for prompt payment, may be purchased for one
dollar and sixty-two and a half cents an acre. One objection to
these lands is, the want of timber for fuel and other purposes;
and another is, that they are unhealthy: but in many places there
is an abundance of peat in the wet prairies, and cultivation will
every year render them more and more healthy. Some of them have
been cultivated for fifteen or twenty years past with grain, and
are as fertile as they ever were. As M. Volney says, "They are the
Flanders of America."

  Yours, &c.      C. A.

ART. III. _Account of the Coal Mines in the vicinity of Richmond,
Virginia, communicated to the editor in a letter from Mr._ JOHN

  PETERSBURGH, _Virg. Jan. 28th, 1818_.

  _Dear Sir_,

In compliance with your request, that I would send you some account
of the Virginia coal pits, I paid a visit to them soon after my
return, in company with Mr. R. W. Withers, and I will now proceed
to give you the account proposed.

The pits, which we made the particular object of our visit, are
situated in the county of Chesterfield, about 14 miles distant,
in a direction W. S. W. from Richmond, and 3 miles south of
James' River. The country rises gradually from Richmond to the
pits; and, from its sandy appearance, is evidently an alluvial
deposit, although its substratum is the granite mentioned by Mr.
M'Clure, as extending through this state from S. S. W. to N.
N. E. The coal is found on the western or upper surface of the
granite, coincident with it both in direction and inclination;
but whether they come immediately in contact or not, has not yet
been ascertained. The 'bed' of coal is supposed by the miners to
be coextensive with the granite, and I can discover no very good
reason for disagreeing with them in this particular; but, on the
contrary, many circumstances concur to strengthen the opinion that
it is really coextensive with the granite. The coal is now procured
from at least 25 different pits, opened at convenient distances
through an extent of from 50 to 70 miles. It every where commences
at the upper surface or termination of the body of granite. Some
suppose that it is imposed on the granite; and others, that a thin
stratum of slate is interposed between the coal and granite. It is
always found covered by the slate. The granite is inclined to the
horizon at an angle of 45°, and the coal has the same inclination.
And since the coal, as far as it has been discovered, is found to
accompany and correspond with the granite, why may we not suppose
that it continues to accompany the granite, where it has not
yet been discovered? At Heth's pits, the coal is 50 feet thick,
measured on a line perpendicular to the surfaces of the extreme
strata. At some of the pits between Heth's and James' River, it
is 30 feet thick; and at the river, not more than 25 feet. The
thickness of the coal on the north side of James' River, at the
pits in Henrico and Hanover counties, is variable, but at no place
greater than 25 feet; and to the south of Heth's, in the pits
extending to the Appomatox river, it is still less thick. These
facts would induce the supposition, that the coal was deposited
in a bed, near the centre of which Heth's pits were sunk. But, on
the other hand, the coal is distinctly stratified, and the number
of strata increases as the coal proceeds from the surface of the
earth; of course, therefore, the farther you proceed from the outer
extremity of the coal, the thicker the body of it will be found;
and from the inclination of the coal, the farther you are from
its outer extremity the deeper it must be under the surface of
the earth. Heth's pits are 100 feet deeper than any that have yet
been sunk; and all the pits, that I have seen, appear to be nearer
to the outer extremity of the coal. We may conclude, therefore,
that if the others had been sunk as far from the outer extremity,
they would have been as deep, and the coal would have been found
as thick in them as in Heth's. Heth's pits, now so called, were
first opened about 30 years since, and worked to some considerable
extent. Experiencing, however, much inconvenience from the near
approach of the works to a part of the coal which was on fire; and
finding, from their unskilful mode of mining, that the business
was not profitable, they abandoned the works, and filled up their
shaft. Some few years after, Mr. Heth obtained possession of the
land; and, having imported two Scotch miners, commenced working
the coal again. He has now three shafts open, in a line with each
other, in the direction of the vein. They are sunk near the brink
of a steep hill, which rises about 180 feet from the western bank
of a small brook. The depth of one of the shafts is 350 feet.
The other two are about 300 feet deep, each. A steam-engine,
constructed by Bolton & Watt, is erected at the middle and deepest
shaft. It is used exclusively for pumping out water; but I will not
trouble you with an account of the _modus operandi_, as it would
be only a repetition of your own description of the same operation
at the Cornwall mines. The coal is raised in a box, called by the
miners a _cowe_. These cowes contain about two bushels each, and
two of them are alternately rising and descending in each shaft.
They are raised by means of ropes, fastened to a simple wheel and
crank, which is turned by mules. In sinking their shafts, they cut,
in the first place, perpendicularly (i. e. to the surface of the
earth) through the coal, to its lower surface; and then turning
westwardly, they open a horizontal gallery through the inclination
of the vein, to its upper surface; by this means, to use their
own terms, "gaining a double cut on it." Their principal gallery
passes (in the direction of the vein,) by the mouth of each shaft.
Its length is 1350 feet, and it is terminated at each end by a
hitch or dyke of hard sandstone. (The passage was stopped with
rubbish in such a manner as to prevent me from seeing the stone
myself, and the gentleman who escorted me through the mines is my
authority for its being sandstone; he might possibly, however,
have been mistaken, as it is difficult to ascertain what a stone
is, in such a place, until it is broken.) When I was at the pits,
they were preparing to blast through this rock. At right angles to
the principal gallery, they have opened, at convenient distances
apart, shorter galleries, running westwardly, and these are again
connected by passages parallel to the first or principal gallery.
Pickaxes are the only tools used in working the coal, as it breaks
very readily, in the direction of the strata. The roofs of some of
the passages are perfectly smooth; and in such, the light of the
lamps, reflected from the great variety of colours in the coal,
presents a very brilliant sight. The gloomy blackness, however, of
most of the galleries, and the strange dress and appearance of the
black miners, would furnish sufficient data to the conception of
a poet, for a description of Pluto's kingdom. A strong sulphurous
acid ran down the walls of many of the galleries; and I observed
one of the drains was filled with a yellowish gelatinous substance,
which I ascertained, on a subsequent examination, was a yellow, or
rather a reddish, oxide of iron, mechanically suspended in water.

I mentioned above that a part of the coal was on fire: I could not
ascertain when this fact was first observed to exist; and it is
not impossible that the coal may have been burning a century, or
more. It is highly probable, however, that a comparatively small
quantity of the coal is consumed, as the combustion must be greatly
retarded by the absence of a sufficient portion of atmospheric
air. A strong sulphurous fume issues from an irregular hole in the
side of the hill of about 2 feet diameter. The hole appears to be
only 4 or 5 feet deep, and the smoke rises into it from cracks,
partly filled with loose clay. The earth is very much cracked
around the hole, to the distance of 12 or 15 feet; and these cracks
are from 1 to 4 inches wide. The mouth of the hole is encrusted
with acicular crystals of pure sulphur. Attempts were formerly
made to extinguish the fire, by turning water into this hole;
and, after every attempt, there was a temporary disappearance of
the smoke for several weeks; but never longer than three months.
For several years, however, they have desisted from such vain
attempts, and have taken advantage of the facility afforded, by
the existence of this fire, for ventilating the mines, in the
following manner:--They opened a passage from their present, to
the old deserted, works; this they can open or shut, by means of
a close door. As the old works are very near the fire, the air
in them becomes very much rarified by the heat; and probably a
considerable portion of it is consumed (as the principal pabulum
for the combustion,) and a partial vacuum is produced. When the air
in their present works, therefore, becomes impure, they open the
door, and a strong current rushes into the old works; its place
is again supplied with fresh air through the shafts. Previous to
the adoption of this mode of ventilation, they experienced great
inconvenience from carbonic acid gas; and some of the workmen had
been killed by an explosion of carburetted hydrogen gas. Since
this mode has been adopted, they have experienced no inconvenience
at all from noxious gases. On inquiry, I was told that the
substances passed through, in getting to the coal, varied in the
different pits. As far, however, as I could learn by inquiry, and
an examination of the heaps of rubbish, the following substances,
in the order in which they stand, have been found in Heth's
pits:--mould, clay, gravel, fuller's earth, sandstone, (at first
extremely coarse and friable, but becoming more compact and hard,
and having an appearance somewhat stratified as they descended,)
gray and bluish clay slate, hard bluish sandstone, shale, or, as
they term it, shiver, white micaceous sandstone, extremely hard;
blue slate and shale intermixed, black slate, and then the coal.
The depth of these strata differed so much in different pits, that
their individual thickness could not be ascertained. Vegetable
impressions are very common in the slate next the coal; and they
have found the impression of a fish. Pieces of pure charcoal, in
the form of sticks, or logs, are frequently found in or on the
coal. In sinking one of the pits they met with a perpendicular
column, 8 inches in diameter, extending through the slate into the
coal; in all about 50 feet. Its surface was distinctly serrated,
and at intervals of about 2 inches it appeared jointed, breaking
easily at the joints. For the want of a better name I must call
it a "lusus naturæ;" for it is neither clay-slate nor mica-slate,
nor shale, nor sandstone; but appears to be composed of them all.
Masses of a black oxide of iron are sometimes found in the slate;
and from its weight and hardness the miners very properly call it
ironstone. Iron pyrites are very abundant in the slate, and the
heaps of rubbish are white with the sulphate of alumine; yellow
ochre is found among the rubbish, but I could not ascertain its
relative position with any precision. The side of the hill at
the pits is covered with quartz pebbles; some of which are as
transparent and beautiful as I ever saw. The country, for several
miles around the pits, (i. e. as far as I have seen,) appears to
be entirely destitute of rocks or pebbles, and is covered with
a light sandy soil. I am unable to inform you of the number of
hands employed at, or of the quantity of coal annually furnished
from, these pits, as a part of my notes has, by an accident, been
rendered illegible.

Thus, sir, I have endeavoured to comply with my promise of giving
you an account of the coal pits.[17] In doing this, I have _only_
attempted to state facts as they existed; although I have no doubt
that my imperfect acquaintance with geology has occasioned many
omissions which might have been interesting. To the same cause must
be attributed the use of language not always strictly scientific,
and a method less exact than might have been desired. With all
its imperfections, however, if you can, from the mass of facts,
cull any one which may be useful or interesting, I shall be fully
compensated by the pleasure of having furnished it, for any trouble
I may have been at in doing so. And, if at any time I should be
able to furnish you with any information relative to the mineralogy
or geology of this part of the country, I hope you will let me know

ART. IV. _Sketch of the Geology and Mineralogy of a part of the
State of Indiana, communicated in a letter to the Editor, by Mr._

  LOUISVILLE, (Ken.) August 11, 1818.

  _Dear Sir_,

I have employed a short period of leisure in passing over a portion
of the state of Indiana. Among other objects, I was not wholly
inattentive to the mineralogical and geological features of the
country. I now, with diffidence, transmit to you the result of my


The secondary formation of the state of Indiana is abundantly
evident. The surface of the soil is undulating, and marked with
few elevations which deserve the name of mountains. The rocks are
sandstone, limestone, and clay-slate; all of which are disposed in
horizontal strata. The sandstone presents nothing remarkable in
its appearance. Its colours are various shades of gray and brown.
The principal hills are of this formation. The principal colours
of the limestone are blue and gray, and their various mingled and
intermediate shades. Its secondary formation is very manifest
from its almost earthy appearance. In innumerable instances, the
limestone rocks contain immense quantities of imbedded shells, of
great similarity in form and appearance, and having considerable
resemblance, to the common escallop-shell of the ocean. Owing to
the easy decomposition of these rocks, and the horizontal position
of their strata, they afford many subterranean passages for water.
A considerable stream, called Lost River, runs into a cave in the
side of a precipitous hill; and, after a passage of 6 or 7 miles
under the earth, again makes its appearance, with a large accession
to its waters. The traveller's attention is continually excited by
cavities in the earth, where the temporary rivulets, proceeding
from rains, make a sudden exit through perpendicular perforations
in the upper stratum of the rock. There are many such cavities,
which do not receive any water from the surface. Some of them are
many yards in diameter, forming a regular circular concave, of
considerable depth towards the centre. They are vulgarly known
among the inhabitants by the name of "_sink-holes_." The localities
of slate are few, and present nothing uncommon.

With regard to the particular minerals. On Sand Creek, 60 miles
from White River, is an interesting locality of that variety
of silex, commonly called burrstone. It has been examined by
several practical millers, who do not hesitate to pronounce the
specimens which it affords, equal, if not superior, to the French
burrs. The locality is twenty acres in extent, and appears to be
inexhaustible. The mineral varies very much in its appearance; it
is generally porous, and appears to have been puffed up by the
escape of some gas, while it was in a state of fusion. A mass of
well-raised bread gives no inadequate idea of its configuration.
It produces most vivid sparks with steel. Some labourers are
employed in procuring millstones from this place; and, such is
the size of the siliceous rocks, that they are under no necessity
of constructing them of detached masses. They form, of a single
rock, millstones of five and a half feet in diameter, which are
not defaced by any irregularity, or even earthy cavity. These
millstones may be carried down the White, Wabash, Ohio, and
Mississippi rivers, to New-Orleans, with great facility. And if
they should prove as excellent as it is expected they will, this
discovery will shed new lustre upon the accumulating evidence of
the mineralogical resources of this republic.

Many other varieties of silex are common: rock crystal, agate,
and chalcedony, are often found in the beds of rivulets. I passed
a considerable distance upon the banks of a small stream, called
Leather-wood creek: the bottom of the creek was covered, the whole
distance, with siliceous masses, shaped like oblate spheroids,
and of every size, from that of a large melon downwards. On being
broken, they presented beautiful geodes of crystallized quartz,
amethyst, &c. The outside was often fine chalcedony, and sometimes
the interior was the same substance, in the form of balls; all
these were sometimes combined, forming agates of great beauty.

Carbonate of lime, crystallized, is sometimes found; and many of
the caves afford fine stalactites.

There is a large cave near Corydon, celebrated for the production
of sulphate of magnesia, or Epsom salts. It has been explored
for the distance of several miles. When it was first discovered,
the bottom, in many places, was covered to the depth of several
inches, with pure, brilliant, needle-shaped crystals of sulphate of
magnesia. By some mysterious process of nature, or rather of Divine
benevolence, the production of this useful salt is continually
going on. This cave also produces some other salts in small
quantities: nitrate of lime, nitrate of magnesia, sulphate of lime,

Where the basis of the country is limestone, the waters always
take up a great quantity of lime, and some of them possess great
petrifying powers. I saw many specimens of petrifactions: a tuft of
moss, the form perfectly preserved; leaves, bark, and branches of
trees; insects, and many others.

Many of the springs are strongly impregnated with sulphur, and
some of them are saturated with sulphuretted hydrogen. I found
the opinion universally prevalent among the people of this state,
that the first appearance of these sulphur springs was immediately
subsequent to the earthquakes of 1812. They say, that then new
springs, impregnated with sulphur, broke out, and the waters of
some old springs, for the first time, gave indications of this
mineral. A sensible farmer, who has a large sulphur-fountain,
boiling up from the bottom of a river near its bank, assured me,
that there was no trace of this spring until after the period to
which I have alluded. He could have no interest in deceiving me;
and if he did deceive me, his conduct could originate only in that
love of the marvellous which is so characteristic of the human
mind. He moreover assured me that the "water had been growing
weaker, (to use his phrase) ever since its first appearance." I
have room only to mention, among the minerals of Indiana, many
varieties of clay, ochres, gypsum, alabaster, muriat of soda, (very
common,) iron ore, and antimony.

ART. V. _New localities of Agate, Chalcedony, Chabasie, Stilbite,
Analcime, Titanium, Prehnite, &c._

Deerfield, &c. In the account of the Mineralogy and Geology of
Deerfield, by Mr. Hitchcock, in the present Number, it will be
seen, that these interesting minerals (with the exception of
titanium) exist in the secondary greenstone of that place. We have
specimens, (through the kindness of Mr. Hitchcock,) and observe
that the agates, chalcedony, analcime, and prehnite, are imbedded
in the trap; the agates are in some instances very delicate in the
disposition of their bands, and need nothing but polishing to make
them beautiful; the same is true of the chalcedony. The chabasie
and stilbite occupy cavities, and the chabasie is often distinctly
crystalized in a rhomboid, so nearly approaching a cube, in the
quantity of its angles, that the mistake is easily committed of
supposing them to be cubes; the crystals are sometimes transparent,
and the largest a quarter of an inch in diameter. Titanium is found
in Leyden; it is the red oxide--very well characterized--in reddish
brown crystals as large as a common goose quill,[18] and, in some
instances, perfectly geniculated. It is rare to see finer specimens.

_East-Haven._ It will be observed, that the great ranges of
secondary greenstone, which cut Connecticut and Massachusetts in
two, terminate at New-Haven, on the one hand, and some way above
Deerfield on the other. By comparing the account of the termination
at New-Haven (Bruce's Journal, v. i. p. 139.) with that now
published, of the termination at or near Deerfield, it will be
seen that the geology and imbedded minerals are very similar. At
East-Haven, (one of the branches of the greenstone of New-Haven,
and within from three to four miles of the latter town,) chalcedony
is often found, sometimes imbedded in the trap, (but perhaps more
frequently loose among the fallen stones,) which, although in
small pieces, is as perfect in its characters as the chalcedony
of the Feroe Islands. It is of a delicate gray, translucent,
mamillary, botryoidal, stalactitical, or impressed by crystals of
quartz, which have usually fallen out; sometimes these crystals
incrust the chalcedony.

Agates also are found in considerable numbers, both imbedded and
loose. They usually consist of bands of chalcedony and quartz, and
sometimes of the latter only, variously striped or spotted, or
interlaced with jasper, carnelian, and cacholong.

The form of the imbedded agates at East-Haven is commonly ovoidal,
or egg-shaped, and frequently it is conical. Some portions of pure
chalcedony occur, which are shaped like a long, slender carrot
or parsnip, and the situation of the latter in the ground would
exactly represent that of the chalcedony or agate in the rock.

The imbedded masses are frequently altogether quartz, and then
they are most commonly geodes or hollow balls lined with crystals,
commonly very perfect and brilliant, although rarely large. These
crystals are commonly transparent and colourless--but they exhibit
also most of the varieties of colour which quartz assumes--the
amethyst--the smoky--yellow, &c., and occasionally they are tipped
and spotted with red jasper.

The spontaneous decay of these trap rocks causes many specimens to
be found among their ruins, and many more are imbedded in the solid
rock; but the industry of successive classes from the neighbouring
college, issuing from Col. Gibbs's cabinet, has now made specimens
more scarce.

_Woodbury._ Twenty-four miles from New-Haven, N.W.

In a geological sketch of parts of the counties of New-Haven
and Litchfield, which may appear in a future Number, it will be
seen that prehnite, stilbite, and agate are found at Woodbury,
in the little basin of secondary greenstone which exists there;
the prehnite is abundant--it is not known whether the agates are
so, although it is asserted to be the fact; the stilbite was not
observed to be abundant, although it was well characterized.

ART. VI. _Account of the Strata perforated by, and of the Minerals
found in, the great adit to the Southampton Lead Mine. Communicated
to the Editor by Mr._ AMOS EATON, _Lecturer on Geology, Botany, &c._

_To Professor Silliman._

After a laborious geological excursion along M'Clure's Springfield
section, for about one hundred miles, I visited Dr. D. Hunt, at
Northampton. He observed that you had expressed an opinion, that
an attentive examination of all the strata constituting the walls
of the artificial avenue or drift at the Southampton mines, would
bring facts to knowledge, which might, in some degree, subserve the
cause of geological science. I am now at the mouth of the drift,
having just completed the labour which you had marked out.

I employed two miners to commence with me, at the termination of
the drift, which is now extended 800 feet into the hill. We broke
off large specimens, at very short intervals, throughout the
whole extent of the drift. We arrived at its mouth with almost
a boat load of specimens. I kept a memorandum of every thing
which occurred, while under ground; and I have now arranged the
specimens, before the mouth of the drift, in the same order in
which they were situated in the earth.

Fatigued as I am, I will make my remarks here, in the field, lest
something should hereafter escape me, which is now fresh in my
recollection. Beginning with the greatest distance to which the
miners have penetrated, I will set down my remarks, in fact, in
reversed order.

800 feet. The rock is fine-grained gray granite, traversed
by veins, lined with quartz crystals, and mostly filled with
calcareous spar, often beautifully crystallized. In the same veins
blue and purple fluate of lime and copper pyrites frequently occur.

790 feet. The same fine-grained granite is continued, occasionally
traversed by veins lined with crystals of quartz; but containing no
other minerals.

774 feet. A narrow vein of sulphuret of lead, with walls lined
with crystals of quartz. The fairest cubic crystals are slightly
attached to the points of the quartz crystals. Yellowish crystals
of carbonate of lime are often interspersed among the lead.
Sulphate of barytes occurs here also; sometimes in plates meeting
at various angles, and forming chambers lined with minute crystals
of quartz. Minute crystals of copper pyrites and a little fluate of
lime have been found here; also fine specimens of bitter spar. The
walls are very compact, fine-grained granite.

760 feet. Coarse, parti-coloured granite. The felspar is
flesh-coloured and white; the quartz often bluish or greenish; the
mica silvery, greenish, or purplish.

725 feet. A stratum of gray-wacke slate. Texture less firm than
of the same rock at the west of Pittsfield. This stratum is very
distinct, and about two feet thick.

723 feet. A stratum of serpentine rock, containing very red quartz
imbedded in various directions. It is very compact, and mostly
green. Here it is but about three feet thick. About ten miles south
of this place, on Maclure's Springfield section, near the line
between Westfield and Russel, and four miles west from Westfield
Academy, I found this same stratum of very great breadth. I say the
same stratum, because it is situated in the granitic hill, east of
the highest ridge of granite, which is evidently a continuation of
this range. Perhaps I may, hereafter, give you an account of my
excursion along that section of Maclure, in which I may give you a
more particular description of the Westfield serpentine.

720 feet. Coarse granite, with white and flesh-coloured felspar,
black and silvery mica.

700 feet. A stratum of red mica slate, about four feet thick.

694 feet. Coarse, flesh-coloured granite. This is the handsomest
granite in the whole drift. Here we find the most beautiful
specimens of graphic granite, both flesh-coloured and gray.

680 feet. A stratum of Kirwan's stell-stein. That is, an aggregate
of fine-grained quartz and mica, without any felspar. The quartz is
mostly greenish, probably coloured by the next stratum.

670 feet. Beautiful green soapstone. Very compact, but rather
softer than that kind in common use for inkstands.

666 feet. A green, granular aggregate. It seems to be made up of
fine fragments of quartz, soapstone, and mica, rarely a little
felspar, slightly compacted together.

_Remark._ All the strata, from the inner termination of the drift
to this place, a distance of one hundred and thirty-four feet, are
nearly vertical, or a very little inclined. Here they begin to
approach a horizontal position.

The green aggregate continues as far as the air-well, a distance of
66 feet, with some trifling variations in the size and proportions
of the aggregated fragments.

500 feet. A granulated, schistose aggregate, chiefly of quartz and
mica. Though the constituents and the form of the rock correspond
very nearly with mica slate, it cannot be considered as the
primitive mica slate rock. It is so slightly compacted that it can
scarcely be kept from falling to pieces. Its position is nearly

480 feet. A stratum of coal, half an inch thick. This stratum may
be traced, at different intervals, one hundred and eighty feet
along the drift towards its mouth. It lies between the strata of
the last described schistose aggregate.

400 feet. An aggregate appears, alternating with the loose
schistose rock, which resembles the red sandstone, but is of a less
firm texture.

From this place all the strata, east of the soapstone, occasionally
appear, for the distance of about three hundred feet. This is
probably on account of their undulatory forms and horizontal
position. Most of the way we find the lower part of the walls to
consist of a kind of semi-indurated puddingstone. Sometimes a thin
stratum of fine, loose sand occurs. At 300 feet the coal stratum
disappears, passing below the bottom of the drift.

The last hundred feet is chiefly gravel, which is now supported by

_Southampton, Aug. 26, 1818._

ART. VII. _On the Peat of Dutchess County--read before the Lyceum
of Natural History, in New-York, by the Rev._ F. C. SCHAEFFER, _of
New-York, and by him communicated to the Editor_.

In May, 1817, I brought specimens of marl and _peat_ from Dutchess
county, which were taken from a fen or bog occupying an area of
some acres. These fens occur frequently in the towns of Rhinebeck,
Northeast, Clinton, &c. in Dutchess county. During a part of the
year they are covered with water.

A pit was dug in the bog from which I procured the specimens. The
order and depth of the well-defined strata which were exhibited
by this excavation, I noted in my memorandum book, from which I
extract the following:

After clearing away the fresh sod and recent vegetable mould, there

  1. A stratum or bed of _peat_ commonly called _turf_, varying in
  depth from three to four feet.

  2. A stratum of peat and marl commingled; depth two feet.

  3. A stratum of pure marl, from two to three feet. Below these
  there was an appearance of sand and blue clay.

The first, or upper stratum, consists of _compact peat_. This
substance, when first taken up, is of a dark brown colour, soft,
and rather viscid. Some vegetable fibres and vacuous seeds
are distributed throughout the mass. It may be moulded to any
convenient form. When perfectly dry, the texture of this variety,
of which there is a specimen before you, acquires a high degree of
solidity. Its fracture is earthy; the colour is lighter.

I should not have offered more on this subject than the labelled
specimen, had I not made a most satisfactory experiment with this
kind of fuel, which may be obtained in great abundance in our own
State. It is easily kindled; burns with a bright flame; yields a
bluish smoke, and produces an odour similar to that which attends
the combustion of gramineous substances. But this is momentary.
When thoroughly kindled, it burns with less flame, yields a
small proportion of blackish smoke, and sulphurous acid gas is
evolved, though I cannot discover any pyrites. It burns for a
long time, and emits a great body of heat. It leaves a very small
proportion of light, grayish white ashes; on which I have as yet
made no experiments, having this day, for the first time, paid
particular attention to this substance, attracted by the unusual
hardness which it acquired since it is in my possession: and not
many hours have elapsed since I subjected it to combustion. The
attempt succeeded so well, that I cannot refrain from expressing
my opinion, that this variety of peat will answer as an excellent
substitute for the best Liverpool coal.

ART. VIII. _Notices of Geology in the West-Indies._


In the former Number of this work, a notice was published
respecting siliceous petrifactions of wood, from Antigua. We now
publish a geological sketch of the island, with notices of some
other parts of the West Indies. This communication is made by a
friend, with permission to publish it. It is a production of the
pen of Dr. NUGENT, of St. Johns, Antigua, a gentleman of eminent
scientific acquirements, who, it is hoped, will continue his
laudable and able efforts to illustrate the natural history of the

_Memorandum concerning the Geology of Antigua, &c._

The southern and more mountainous part of the island consists of
_trap_ rocks; more particularly of trap breccia and wacké-porphyry.
On these beds rests a series of very peculiar stratified
conglomerate rocks. These strata vary exceedingly in colour and
thickness, but all dip, at a considerable angle, to the northwest.
The more usual character of this rock, is that of a clayey basis,
with minute particles of felspar, and small spots of _grünerde_[19]
(or chlorite Baldogée.) This latter is frequently diffused over the
whole, and gives it a green tinge: the colour has been thought by
some to proceed from the impregnation of copper, but I am rather
of opinion that is owing to manganese and iron. The conglomerate
character of this rock, is derived from its having imbedded in
it, or incorporated with it, numerous fragments, of all sizes, of
petrified wood, chert, with and without coralline impressions,
agate, jasper, amygdaloid, greenstone, hornstone, porphyry,
porphyry slate, and other substances.

On this singular class of strata, reposes an extensive calcareous
formation, occupying the northern and eastern part of the island,
having _subordinate_ to it, and at its lowest part, where it is in
contact with the conglomerate, large beds and patches of chert,
which contains also a vast variety of petrified woods, several
of which are of the palm tribe, with silicified shells, chiefly
_cerithea_; though at the Church-hill, at St. Johns, formed of
this chert, casts of bivalve and ramose madrepores are likewise
found. The calcareous beds are principally of a friable marl,
with blocks and layers of limestone irregularly included. In this
_formation_[20] are many fossil shells, both in the calcareous and
siliceous state; and there appear to be some beds, wherein is a
mixture of shells of marine, and others of a fresh water, or at
least a terrestrial origin. The coralline agates found in nodules
and patches therein, and which may readily be distinguished from
the coralline chert of the previous beds, are the most beautiful
which have any where been yet noticed; and when well selected and
polished, make very pleasing ornaments.

The island, as well as Barbuda, thirty miles to the northward,
the Grande Terre part of Guadaloupe, at a similar distance to the
southward and eastward, with several others of the West-India
Islands, give proof of an extensive formation, more recent than
those to which naturalists have heretofore principally confined
their' attention; and which is, perhaps, contemporaneous with, if
not later than, the Paris Basin, so well described by Cuvier and

  _April 10th, 1818._      N. N.

N. B. A few specimens are sent.


If the above paper be read attentively, in connexion with that
in No. 1. on the petrified wood of Antigua, it will afford some
very curious information to the geologist respecting these
petrifactions, and must lead to interesting speculations respecting
their origin, under circumstances so very peculiar, and to which we
do not recollect to have heard of any parallel.

ART. IX. _Discovery of Native Crystallized Carbonate of Magnesia on
Staten-Island, with a Notice of the Geology and Mineralogy of that
Island, by_ JAMES PIERCE, ESQ. _of New-York, in a Letter to the

  NEW-YORK, October 19, 1818.


I forward you a few mineral specimens characteristic of
Staten-Island, including native carbonate of magnesia, in acicular
crystals. I discovered this new form and locality of magnesia in
examining the strata exhibited in an excavation now making, under
the delusive expectation of finding gold, about three miles from
the Quarantine. In descending the shaft, sunk perpendicularly in
steatite, magnesite, veins of talc, and green translucent asbestus
were observed at depths from six to thirty-five feet. The magnesite
was found to embrace veins and cavities containing native carbonate
of magnesia, in very white acicular crystals, grouped in minute
fibres radiating from the sides, but not always filling the veins
and cavities. The crystals were, in some instances, suspended,
assuming a stalactical form. This carbonate of magnesia dissolves
entirely in diluted sulphuric acid, with considerable effervescence
and chemical action, producing a bitter compound, from which salts
of easy solution are formed by evaporation. The magnesite in which
these crystals are found, appears to be composed of carbonate of
magnesia, steatite, and talc, disintegrating readily upon exposure
to air and moisture: it effervesces considerably in sulphuric acid,
forming a very bitter fluid that soon exhibits crystals, indicating
that magnesia enters in large proportion into its constitution.
Magnesite may perhaps be found at this place in quantity sufficient
for a successful manufacture of Epsom salts. Small regular
hexaedral crystals of mica, were noticed in steatite. Chromate of
iron was sparingly diffused through the different minerals raised
from various depths.

A few remarks and facts respecting the geology and mineralogy of
Staten-Island, may, perhaps, give some additional interest to the
specimens presented.

Staten-Island (which constitutes Richmond county) is situated
about seven miles southwest of the city of New-York, extends
from northeast to southwest about fifteen miles, in a straight
line, with an average width of six. It exhibits a considerable
diversity of surface. The eastern part is composed principally of
elevated ground: a mountain chain is observed to take its rise
in the vicinity of a narrow sound called the Kills, and sweep,
in a semicircular form, near the eastern shore; it then ranges
southwest, parallel with, and distant from Amboy Bay, about two
miles, terminating near the centre of the island, and forming, with
the exception of some passages, a continued chain, which, on the
eastern and southern sides, is very steep, but not precipitous;
it gradually declines to the west and north, and, in some places,
it presents on its summit table land of considerable extent. A
prominent ridge crosses the island, connecting the elevated ground
of the south, with the hills of the northern part. A species of
steatite, containing veins of common, indurated, and scaly talc,
amianthus, and most of the varieties of asbestus, and some chromate
of iron, constitutes the nucleus of the whole mountain range and
elevated ground of the eastern division, stamping it as primitive.
This steatite approaches, in most places, within a foot and a half
of the surface, and appears in small angular loose blocks, wherever
the soil has been removed. Its colour is a greenish yellow; it is
brittle, very adhesive to the tongue, but little unctuous, and
probably contains more alumine and less magnesia than steatites in
general. Much of it decomposes when exposed to air and moisture,
and forms a good mould, whenever the descent of ground permits an
accumulation of earth. It is not improbable, that in most places of
the Staten-Island hills, when magnesia constitutes a considerable
ingredient of the rock, it will be found saturated with carbonic
acid, obviating the objection to common magnesian minerals in

The minerals observed on the surface of the northeast part of this
chain of hills are, secondary greenstone, asbestoid, sandstone,
granite, and gneiss, sparingly scattered in rolled masses. In
addition to these rocks, in the middle and western part of the
chain, a mineral of uncommon appearance is observed. It is composed
principally of quartz, rough, with numerous cells of various
forms, in which small siliceous crystals are generally found:
the veins or plates of quartz that intersect each other, often
embrace talc and oxide of iron, which, decomposing, gives some
specimens the appearance of volcanic origin. Associated with this
cellular ferruginous quartz, brown hæmatite is often observed;
this valuable ore often yields eighty per cent. of iron of best
quality; its fibres assume a variety of shapes; they were observed
at Staten-Island, straight and curved, radiating from a centre, and
exhibiting the stalactical, cylindrical, and botryoidal forms,
often displaying a black polished surface and glistening lustre.
Ferruginous minerals are abundant on the mountain for several
miles. A granular oxide, called by miners shot-ore,[21] from its
being principally composed of spherical grains of various sizes,
was often noticed, and appears in some places in extensive beds:
it is easily fused, and affords a large per centage of good iron
for castings. A heavy ore, with a smooth surface and some lustre,
bearing a considerable resemblance to native iron, is sometimes
seen. Banks of white sand, resembling the siliceous particles of
the seashore, are noticed on the mountain tops, containing masses
of compact, heavy ferruginous sandstone, similar to the rocks of
our alluvial seaboard. Large beds of water-worn siliceous pebbles,
in no way differing from those washed by the ocean, are seen on
the height of the ridge, in which excavations have been made
several feet, leaving the depth of the mass uncertain. On some of
the eminences, for a considerable extent, vegetation is entirely
excluded by an iron-bound soil. Iron ore, imbedded in an earth
coloured by, and partly composed of, oxide of iron, occupies the
surface; and chalcedony and radiated quartz are sometimes observed
on the primitive ridge. Prospects from many of these eminences
are extensive and diversified. On one side, the ocean and a great
extent of coast are in view; on the other, a rich landscape of
hills and plains, the eye resting on the highland-chain and the
mountains bordering Pennsylvania; the harbour, at your feet,
presents a busy, ever-varying scene, and the city of New-York
appears to great advantage from this point of observation.

The district between the mountain and the narrows, the thickly
settled and well-cultivated plain bordering Amboy bay, and much
of the western division of the island, are decidedly alluvial.
Adjacent to Fort Tompkins, detached pieces of copper ore have been
found. I have observed petrifactions of marine shells in rocks
excavated in that neighbourhood, twenty feet from the surface, and
sixty above the ocean.

The western part of the island presents moderate elevations; the
soil, a good medium of sand and clay, is in general fertile; but
a tract near the termination is sandy and barren. Some creeks
penetrate to near the centre of the island, and are bordered by
extensive salt meadows. Except at the primitive range, I have
observed in no part of the island large beds of rock that can
be called in place; but rolled masses of greenstone, sandstone,
gneiss, granite, red jasper, and indurated clay, appear in general
sparingly, but sometimes in abundance, on the surface. Lignite has
been found in small quantities in the western part of the island. A
chalybeate spring, of no great strength, is the only mineral water
met with in Richmond county. The ponds, wells, and streams, contain
a soft water, holding no lime in solution.


We have already published (p. 54.) Mr. Pierce's discovery of
the pulverulent carbonate of magnesia, and have pointed out its
connexion with Dr. Bruce's previous discovery of the hydrate of
magnesia, or pure magnesia combined with water only. Mr. Pierce
has now added another important link to this chain, and future
mineralogists may quote the vicinity of New-York as affording,

  1. Pure magnesia, crystallized and combined with water only.

  2. Carbonate of magnesia, pulverulent and white.

  3. Carbonate of magnesia, in very delicate and perfectly white
  acicular crystals.

We possess specimens of them all.

ART. X. _On a curious substance which accompanies the native Nitre
of Kentucky and of Africa. Communicated in a letter to the Editor,
from_ SAMUEL BROWN, M. D. _late of Kentucky, now of the Alabama


The scientific public were several years ago laid under obligations
to Dr. Brown, for a very interesting and instructive account of
the nitre caverns, &c. of Kentucky, published in the Transactions
of the Philosophical Society, in Philadelphia, Vol. VI., and in
Bruce's Journal, Vol. I. p. 100. The following communication arose
from a conversation on that subject between Dr. Brown and the

  _New-Haven, July 27, 1818._


I have just found the passage I referred to the other day, relative
to the existence of native or sandrock nitre in the interior
of Southern Africa. It is in Barrow, and not in Vaillant, as I
thought when I had the pleasure of conversing with you concerning
it. I am much obliged to you for recalling my attention to that
curious subject, as it has brought to my recollection a fact,
which I believe I omitted to mention in my memoir, (viz.) the
existence of a black substance in the clay under the rocks, of a
bituminous appearance and smell. This I remember to have seen in
a rock-house, near the Kentucky river, where very considerable
quantities of sandrock nitre had been obtained. This substance was
found in masses of a few ounces weight, and in the crevices of the
rocks near the basis of the side walls. The smell was not wholly
bituminous, but resembled that of bitumen combined with musk. I
am quite unable to account for the formation of the nitre, or the
production of this black substance which sometimes accompanies it,
both in Africa and America. Had I seen Mr. Barrow's travels, when
I noticed the bitumen, I should certainly have paid more attention
to it. But perceiving no relation between the rock nitre and
the masses of this substance, my examination of it was much too
superficial. I do not very well understand what Mr. Barrow means by
saying, that many wagon loads of animal matter lay on the _roof_
of the caverns in Africa. I saw no such matter on the _roof_ of
the rock-houses in Kentucky. Certainly the caverns have been the
habitations of wild beasts, and great quantities of leaves, &c.
have been mixed with the debris of the superincumbent rocks, but it
does not seem probable, that much animal matter could be filtrated
through a roof of rock, perhaps forty or fifty feet in thickness.
The subject, however, is very curious, and deserves much more
attention than any of us have bestowed upon it.

_Extract from Barrow's Southern Africa, p. 291. New-York edition._

"About 12 miles to the eastward of the wells, (Hepatic wells,) in a
kloof of the mountain, we found a considerable quantity of _native
nitre_. It was in a cavern similar to those used by the Bosgesmans
for their winter habitations, and in which they used to make the
drawings above mentioned. The _under surface_ of the projecting
stratum of calcareous stone, and the sides that supported it, were
incrusted with a coating of _clear, white saltpetre_, that came
off in flakes, from a quarter of an inch to an inch or more in
thickness. The fracture resembled that of refined sugar, it burnt
completely away without leaving any residuum; and if dissolved in
water, and thus evaporated, crystals of _pure prismatic nitre_ were
obtained. This salt, in the _same_ state, is to be met with _under_
the sandstone strata of _many_ of the mountains of Africa; but,
perhaps, not in sufficient quantities to be employed as an article
of export. There was also in the same cave, running down the sides
of the rock, a black substance, that was apparently bituminous.
The peasants called it the urine of the das. The dung of this
gregarious animal was lying upon the roof of the cavern to the
amount of many wagon loads. The putrid animal matter, filtrating
through the rock, contributed, no doubt, to the formation of
the nitre. The Hepatic wells and the native nitre rocks were in
the division of Agster Sneuwberg, which joins the Tacka to the

Should I ever visit Kentucky again, I hope that I shall be able to
give a better account of these caverns, which certainly are highly
deserving of the attention of naturalists.

In Philadelphia you may have an opportunity of seeing some small
specimens of the sandrock, containing nitre, now in the cabinet of
the Philosophical Society.


ART. XI. _Descriptions of species of Sponges observed on the shores
of Long-Island. By_ C. S. RAFINESQUE, _Esq._

The sponges are one of the most singular productions of nature;
and, even to this time, naturalists are divided in opinion
respecting their real rank in the scale of organized beings. Some
believe that they are animals, belonging to the class of polyps,
next to the genus of _alcyonium_, while many contend that they
are not animals, but plants, of the tribe of _fuci_, or marine
vegetables. I am inclined to adopt this latter opinion, since in
all those which I have seen, in Europe and America, no perceptible
motion nor sensibility was to be discerned in any stage of their
existence; and those who have acknowledged their animality, bring
no stronger proof thereof than an occasional slight shrinking under
the hand, and an animal smell, which are common to some marine

Whatever be the truth on the subject, these doubtful opinions
prove that they are of the many connecting links between animals
and plants. This is not a proper place to decide this controversy;
I mean merely to make known new species of this tribe of beings,
which I observed last year, on the shores of Long-Island. Such a
fragment will be, perhaps, the first attempt of the kind; when more
species shall be known, the subject may be investigated with more
certainty and accuracy.

1. _Spongia albescens_, Raf. (Whitish sponge.) Effuse, compressed,
irregular, perforated, somewhat branched, unequally lobed, whitish,
smooth; lobes truncated; cells porose, very minute, nearly equal;
small unequal cells inside.

Found near Bath and Gravesend, in sandy bottoms. A large species,
sometimes over a foot broad, of quite an irregular shape, rather
flattened, about one inch thick; partly gibbose; concave now and
then, and with large, irregular openings, as if large branches
were anastomosed; circumference branched or lobed, very jagged,
sinus obtuse, lobes elongated obtuse, truncate or flat, unequally
divided. The substance is entirely of a cinereous white, outside
and inside, of a soft and brittle nature, rather friable; covered
outside with minute pores of an oblong or round shape, and full of
small unequal cells inside.

2. _Spongia ostracina_, Raf. (Oyster sponge.) Very branched, erect,
red, papillose; branches unequal, often dichotome, obtuse; cells
porose, oblong, nearly equal.

It is often found on the common oyster. (_Ostrea virginica._)
It rises from four to six inches, the colour is a fine red, it
branches from the base; the branches are unequal, straight,
cylindrical, or compressed. Substance stupose. Surface covered with
small papilla and small oblong unequal pores.

3. _Spongia cespitosa_, Raf. (Bushy sponge.) Branched, cespitose,
yellowish, rough, papillose; branches fasciculated, upright,
unequal, flexuose, compressed, slightly anastomosed, nearly
dichotome upwards; cells porose, oblong, nearly equal, margin

Found also on the oyster, but more seldom than the foregoing;
the specimens which I saw was found on the Bluepoint oysters, by
Dr. Eddy. It becomes brown by drying. It rises from four to six
inches, the margin of the cells or pores is torn into papillar,
stiff processes, which produce a rough surface. Substance stripose.
Internal cells oblong, very small.

4. _Spongia cladonia._ (Cladonian sponge.) Branched effuse, smooth,
pale fulvous, stem procumbent, branches distichal, one-sided,
erect, simple or divided, obtuse; cells porose, minute; some larger

I have found this species at Bath and at Sandy-Hook, on Sandy
bottoms. Length about six inches. Stem and branches cylindrical
or compressed. Substance fibrose, anastomed, branches divaricate,
ascendent, semi dichotomose or simple, unequal, thicker towards the

5. _Spongia virgata._ (Slender sponge.) Nearly branched, smooth,
fulvous, stem divided, slender, cylindrical, knobby, branches
erect, slender, nearly heads acute; pores unequal, irregular, small.

A small species, three inches high, found at Oysterbay, on rocky
bottoms, rare; stem with few branches, and imperfect ones, like
knobs. Substance stupose. Branches round, alternate, small. Pores
without any determinate shape.

ART. XII. _Memoir on the Xanthium maculatum, a New Species from the
State of New-York, &c. by_ C. S. RAFINESQUE, ESQ.

Pursh and Michaux mention only one species of American _Xanthium_,
the _X. strumarium_, while there are three noticed in the catalogue
of Dr. Muhlenberg, the above species, and the _X. orientale_, and
_X. spinosum_. The first and the last are natives of Europe, and
have been naturalized in the United States, with many other plants.
The species called _X. orientale_ by Dr. Muhlenberg, appears
however to be a native; but the _X. orientale_ of Linnæus, is a
native of Siberia, Japan, and the East-Indies; and when plants are
found to grow in such opposite quarters of the globe, a strong
presumption arises that they are not identical species, which
presumption has been confirmed by experience in many instances,
whenever the plants of both countries have been accurately
examined. Decandolle, in the French Flora, (2d edit, of 1815.) vol.
6. p. 356, describes, under the name of _X. macrocarpon_, a species
found in France, and which he takes to be the real _X. orientale_
of Linnæus. He has changed its name, because, he says, that it is
not certain that the _X. orientale_ grows in Asia; or, if any grows
there, that it is identic with his species; which, however, is
really the _X. orientale_ of Linnæus, Son, Lamark, and Gaertner. He
adds, that he possesses in his herbarium, a species from Canada,
different from his _X. macrocarpon_ which has been figured by
Morison, on whose authority some authors have asserted that the _X.
orientale_ grew in Canada, mistaking his figure for that plant.

From the above statement, it appears that much obscurity
and difficulty arises in botany, when errors creep into the
distinction of species: to detect those errors, and to ascertain
the synonyme of obscure species, is not one of the least useful
botanical labours. Having found, last year and this year, in the
neighbourhood of New-York, a species of _Xanthium_ different from
any described by the authors, and intermediate between the _X.
strumarium_ and _X. orientale_ of Linnæus, I presume that it may
be the _X. orientale_ of Muhlenberg, Leconte, and Morison, and the
_Xanthium_ of Canada, mentioned by Decandolle, Dumont, &c. I have
given to it the name of _X. maculatum_, since the stem is spotted
like the _Conium maculatum_. None of those authors having described
it, I suppose that its description will be acceptable, and will
serve to fix this new species among the American botanists.

Therefore it will appear, that the _X. orientale_, which had been
considered as a native of Asia, Europe, and America, is composed of
at least three species; the European species, which has been called
_X. macrocarpon_ by Decandolle, the American species, which I have
called _X. maculatum_, and the Asiatic species, to which the name
of _X. orientale_ ought to remain; but which ought to be better
described, and more fully distinguished from the _X. macrocarpon_
by those who may chance to meet with it. I even suspect that many
species grow in Asia, since that of Ceylon may be different from
the Chinese and Siberian species.

_Xanthium Maculatum._

_Definition._ Stem flexuous, round, rough, spotted with black;
leaves long-petiolate, cuneate-reniform, nearly trilobe,
sinuate-toothed, obtuse, rough, and thick; fruits elliptic, obtuse
muricate; thorns rough.

_Description._ The root is annual, thick, and white. The stem rises
from one to two feet; it is upright, without thorns, very thick,
and with few branches; it is covered with oblong, black, and rough
spots. The leaves are few, but large, with very long petiols; they
are nearly reniform, with an acute base, and have three nerves;
the teeth are unequal, large, and obtuse. The flowers and fruits
are disposed as in _X. strumarium_; but the fruits are generally
solitary; they are half an inch long, nearly cylindrical obtuse,
with the two beaks scarcely perceptible and bent in, covered with
short, thick, and rough thorns, rather soft, and not uncinate. The
whole plant has a peculiar smell, not unpleasant, somewhat between
the camphorate and gravulent odour, but weaker than in _Conysa
camphorata_, &c.

_History._ This plant grows on Long-Island, near the seashore and
marshes. I have found it common near Bath, on the downs, and in
New-Jersey, near Bergen, and Powles Hook, on the margin of marshy
meadows. According to Dr. Mulenberg, it grows also in Pennsylvania;
Messrs. Torrey and Leconte found it on the island of New-York; and
by Morison and Decandolle's account, it is found as far north as
Canada. It blossoms in August and September, but the fruits remain
on the plant till the severe frosts of December.

_Observations._ This species differs from the _X. macrocarpon_ of
Decandolle, by having smaller fruits, without horns, and whose
thorns are neither hooked nor hispid; by not having an angular
stem, but a round, spotted one, and by its leaves being broader,
and not serrate, &c. Nearly all those differences exist between it
and the _X. orientale_ of Asia, which has not yet been isolated
from the _X. macrocarpon_. The _X. edrinatum_ differs from this by
having oval fruits, with aggregated, echinate, and hooked thorns;
and the _X. strumarium_, by having cordate hirsute leaves, the
fruits aggregated, with hooked thorns and horned tops. The _X.
spinosum_, and _X. fruticosum_, ate so totally different that they
need not be compared.


ART. XIII. _Description of the Phalaena Devastator, (the Insect
that produces the Cut-worm,) communicated for the American Journal
of Science, &c. by_ Mr. JOHN P. BRACE, _of Litchfield, Conn._

This moth, whose larva is one of our most destructive enemies,
belongs to the Linnæan family noctua, in the genus phalaena. Its
specific characters are as follow: Wings incumbent and horizontal,
when at rest; body long and thin; thorax thick, but not crested;
head small; eyes prominent and black; antennæ setacious, gradually
lessening towards extremities, and slightly ciliated; palpi two,
flat, broad in the middle, and very hairy; tongue rolled up between
them, not very prominent; clypeus small, legs long, small and
hairy; wings long as body; under wings shortest; colour a dark
silvery gray, with transverse dotted bands of black on upper wings.
The insect lays its eggs in the commencement of autumn, at the
roots of trees and near the ground: they are hatched early in May.
The habits of the cut-worm have been often and fully detailed. They
eat almost all kinds of vegetables, preferring beans, cabbages,
and corn. They continue in this state about four weeks; they then
cast their skin and enter the _pupa_ state, under ground. This is a
crustaceous covering, fitted to the parts of the future insect. In
this they continue for four weeks longer, and come out in the fly,
or insect state, about the middle of July. All those chrysalids
that I exposed to the sun, died; and all those that were kept cool
under earth, produced an insect: hence I infer, that the heat of
the sun will kill the chrysalids. If, then, the ground be ploughed
about the first of July, many of those insects might be destroyed,
and the destruction of the productions of the next year prevented;
for the _pupa_ is never more than a few inches under ground.

The phalaena devastator is never seen during the day; it conceals
itself in the crevices of buildings, and beneath the bark of trees.
About sun-down it leaves its hiding-place, is constantly on the
wing, and very troublesome about the candles in houses. It flies
very rapidly, and is not easily taken.

Such is the description of this formidable enemy to vegetation. No
efficacious method has yet been taken to prevent its ravages, but
the one who could accomplish it, would do the cause of agriculture
an essential service.

ART. XIV. _Description of a New Genus of North American Fresh water
Fish, Exoglossum, by_ C. S. RAFINESQUE, ESQ.

Mr. Lesueur has published, in the 5th Number of the Journal of
the Academy of Sciences of Philadelphia, for September, 1817, the
description of a new fish, which he calls _Cyprinus maxillingua_:
he considers it as a very singular and anomalous species, owing to
the peculiar structure of its lobed lower jaw and tongue, which
is external, and situated as an appendage to the former. It was
discovered in Pipe-creek, Maryland, in June, 1816, by said author,
who confesses that he does not consider it as properly belonging to
the genus _Cyprinus_, and presumes that when other species shall
be discovered, possessing the same character, they will constitute
a separate genus. Although this principle and presumption is
correct, it was wrong to delay the formation of such a distinct
genus, because only a species was then known, since so many genera
are composed of single species. However, Mr. Lesueur's expectation
was verified even before he wrote it, since in May, 1817, I had
discovered in the Fishkill, State of New-York, another, species,
evidently congenerous with the _Cyprinus maxillingua_, having the
same structure of the mouth, &c. I therefore venture to establish
a separate genus for those two species, having no doubt that many
more will hereafter be added to it by accurate observers, and I
give to it the name of _Exoglossum_, meaning _outside tongue_.
It will belong to the same natural order and family of the genera
_Cyprinus_, _Catostomus_, &c.

EXOGLOSSUM. _Generic Definition._--Body oblong, thick, and scaly;
head without scales, mouth without lips or teeth, upper jaw longer,
entire; the lower trilobed, middle lobe longer, performing the
office of tongue; dorsal fin opposite to the abdominal fins; three
rays to the branchial membrane.

_Remarks._ Besides the above characters, the two species known at
present have, in common, the lateral line ascending upwards at the
base, the tail forked, &c.

1. Species. _Exoglossum vittatum_, Raf. _Cyprinus maxillingua_,
Lesueur. _Specific Definition._--Back brownish olive; sides blue,
with a brownish band; a black spot at the base of the caudal fin,
lower parts silvery gray; lateral line ascending upwards at the
base; dorsal and anal fins with nine rays; tail forked.

_Remarks._ Length four inches; vulgar name _little sucker_. For
further particulars, see Lesueur's description, p. 85. cum. ic. I
have been obliged to change the specific name of _maxillingua_,
since it has the same meaning as the generic name.

2. Species. _Exoglossum annulatum_, Raf. Head black above, cheeks
and gills olivaceous, back blackish olive, sides olivaceous, lower
parts olive gray; a black ring at the base of the tail; lateral
line ascending upwards at the base, tail forked, dorsal and anal
fins with nine rays.

_Remarks._ Length from three to six inches; vulgar name, _Black
chub_. Head broad and flat above, iris large and gray; fins
olivaceous, abdominal distant and with nine rays, pectoral with
fifteen, caudal with twenty-four.


ART. XV. _On the Revolving Steam-Engine, recently invented by_
SAMUEL MOREY, _and Patented to him on the 14th July, 1815, with
four Engravings_.

  _To Professor Silliman._


The successful employment of the steam-engine, in navigating the
rivers and inland waters of the United States, and the probable
extension of this mode of conveyance of persons and property, makes
those improvements desirable which adapt the steam-engine to this
purpose with less complication and expense, placing it more within
reach of individual enterprise, and rendering it even useful on our
small rivers and canals.

The steam-engine, though often seen in operation, is not readily
understood by an observer, without an acquaintance with the
facts in natural philosophy on which its power depends: and it
may elucidate the subject of this communication to advert, for
a moment, to the gradations by which this important machine has
attained its present perfection.

It will be recollected that as early as 1663, the Marquis of
Worcester published some obscure hints of a mechanical power
derived from the elastic force of steam.

In 1669, Savary, availing himself of the suggestion, and pursuing
the subject more scientifically, invented his engine, consisting
of an apparatus to cause a vacuum by the condensation of steam, so
that the water to be raised would thereupon, by the external weight
of the atmosphere, rise into the chamber of the apparatus, which
the steam had occupied.

As caloric becomes latent in the steam which it forms at 212° of
Fahrenheit, and the steam thus formed occupies 1800 times the bulk
of the water composing it; and as it returns instantly to a state
of water on losing its heat, by contact with any thing cold, Savary
easily produced his vacuum by the injection of a little cold water.

He also used (though in a very disadvantageous manner) the
expansive force of steam to drive the water out of the chamber,
through a pipe different from that by which it entered.

It is doubtful whether this kind of engine was ever erected on
a scale of any magnitude; for, a few years later, Newcomen and
Crawley invented the first engine with a cylinder and piston; and
Savary, abandoning his own, united with them in bringing their
engine into use.

As steam drives out air, the principle of this engine was to let
steam into the cylinder beneath the piston, where (the piston
having risen to the top of the cylinder) a jet of cold water[22]
condensed the steam, produced a vacuum, and the piston, working air
tight, descended by the pressure of the atmosphere upon it, this
pressure being a weight of nearly fifteen pounds to each square
inch; so that if the cylinder were two feet diameter, it would
amount to a weight of three tons.

This mode of operation prevailed for about fifty years, and though
much used to pump water from mines, was found to have great
inconveniences and defects; till, in the year 1762, Mr. Watt, being
employed to repair a working-model of an engine at the University
of Glasgow, was led to direct his mind to the improvement of the
machine; and from his experiments sprung the most essential change,
viz. the condensation of the steam in the cylinder, by opening a
communication with a separate vessel, into which the injection of
cold water was made, thus allowing the cylinder to remain hot.

On opening that communication, the steam instantly rushes to the
cold, or rather is destroyed by the instant loss or reduction of
its heat, and the vacuum thus made allows the piston to descend as
before mentioned.

[Illustration: _Pl. I._]

[Illustration: _Pl. II._]

[Illustration: _Pl. III._]

[Illustration: _Pl. IV._]

Mr. Watt soon added the airpump to the condenser, to extract the
air extricated from the water in boiling, together with the water

The next step was to close the upper end of the cylinder, the
piston-rod working through a tight packing to exclude the air,
letting the steam in above, as well as below the piston, by an
alternate communication, and then condensing it in both cases
alternately, thus producing a double stroke; at the same time
deriving some aid from the expansive force of the steam on the
side of the piston opposite to the vacuum. This is essentially the
form of all the engines in use at the present day. The minor parts
devised by Mr. Watt, as the working of the valves, &c. were such as
would readily occur to a scientific mechanician.

While he was bringing the engine to its present perfection,
and furnishing it for the numerous mines, manufactories, and
breweries in Great Britain, variations were devised by Cartwright,
by Hornblower, Woolf, and others in England, and more recently
by Evans and by Ogden in America, evincing much ingenuity, but
(with the exception of Evans's, which is a simple engine of high
pressure) making the machine more complex.

Watt and Bolton's engine, as most generally used, being properly
an atmospheric engine, or working with steam so low as merely to
produce a vacuum in the cylinder, became of enormous dimensions,
when the power required was that of an hundred horses: a scale
of estimate adapted to the comprehension of those who had before
used the labour of that animal, and preferred to substitute the

It had not, however, escaped the notice of Mr. Watt, that
there existed in steam another source of power besides that of
atmospheric pressure. The experiments of his learned friend, Dr.
Black, of Glasgow, as well as those of the French chemists, and
of Papin, in the instance of his digester, had ascertained the
laws of its expansive force, and amongst other interesting facts,
those subservient to our present purpose; viz. That after water has
reached the boiling point, 212° of Fahrenheit, the caloric which
enters it no longer becomes latent, but sensible in the steam,
which thereupon acquires expansive force to an unlimited degree:
that this force increases geometrically; or, that every accession
of about 30° of heat, nearly doubles its power at those stages
of progression; that when the pressure at a high temperature is
taken off, or the steam allowed to flow, there is an instantaneous
and rapid production of steam; a fact which proves there can be
no necessity of a large space for the steam to form in above the
water, provided it be sufficient to prevent water from issuing with
the steam, and, therefore, that boilers of a small cylindrical form
are best.

It may be a fair question, why Mr. Watt did not further employ this
principle of expansive force? We may readily conceive of several
motives to the contrary. Watt and Bolton's engines were in great
demand; they gave entire satisfaction, and the work they performed
saved so much labour as to afford the purchase at a high price. The
public had gained immensely by this better form of the engine, and
Mr. Watt enjoyed the benefits of the patent he had obtained; and,
at a later period, this preference was increased by an accident
which happened to Trevethick's engine, though caused by gross
mismanagement, that would have been equally fatal to any other.

From an investigation, by a committee of parliament, into the
causes of the several fatal explosions of steam-engine boilers
within a few years, published in Tillock's Magazine, vol. 1., it
appears that in every instance the accident was fairly attributable
to neglect or mismanagement. Many competent persons were summoned
to give their opinions; and through the contrariety of their
testimony, the prevalent opinion appears to have been, that
cast-iron boilers cannot be safe; that as many engines of high
steam as of low are now used in England, but that the high are much
the most economical in fuel and cost; that they are more safe, if
properly constructed; it being argued by some, that boilers for
steam of 100 pounds to the inch, are easily made of strength to
sustain 500 pounds; this excess being much greater than in those
constructed for low steam, makes them comparatively the safest, as
the safety valves are less liable to be accidentally prevented from
venting the steam.

In the United States, instances are not wanting of the successful
operation of high steam; of which the engine at the mint is a
conspicuous example. There can, indeed, be no good reason why
this great power should not be employed to an extent within the
limits of safety, if more economical and convenient. If boilers
can bear (as they are usually made of iron) 500 pounds, there can
be no danger in using them with fifty; and this gives an increase
of power, with a condenser, fourfold, or makes a ten horse power
forty. The economy, therefore, of high steam, hardly admits of a
question. It seems unphilosophical to neglect a power so great,
merely because it is so.

Mr. Watt was desirous of an improvement by which to obtain a direct
rotatory motion. His experiments, resembling those of Curtis, at
New-York, were not found permanently practicable.

It was probably perceived to be a great object to get rid of
a reciprocating movement of large masses, on the well-known
mechanical principle, that it consumes power to check momentum, as
well as to give it--to drag an inert mass into motion rapidly, in
opposite directions. And in engines for navigation this is more
disadvantageous than for land uses, as the foundation of the engine
cannot be perfectly substantial.

An engine, therefore, that possesses the cylinder and other
members of Watt's engine, working with or without a condenser,
at pleasure--having a rotatory movement--requiring no ponderous
balance-wheel--adapted to high steam--attended by no inconvenience
from the rapidity of its stroke or movement--having no inert mass
of machinery to move reciprocally--more powerful, proportionately,
from its using steam as strong as that in the boiler--of a simple
and durable construction, and by a combination of two similar
machines attached to the same common intermediate axis, operating
so as to give nearly an equal power at every moment of its
operation, seems to combine every thing desirable in an engine for
the purposes of navigation. Such appears to be the revolving engine
invented by Mr. Morey.

When those who are acquainted with steam-engines of the atmospheric
kind only, are told that Morels cylinder revolves, their
imaginations may suppose a moving mass as large as the enormous
cylinders they have been accustomed to see: but it is not so; the
elastic force of steam requires machinery but of comparatively
small dimensions.

The revolving engine makes up in activity what in other engines is
supplied by magnitude.

We will take for example the engine working at the glass
manufactory, in this vicinity, the cylinder of which has one foot
stroke and nine inches diameter, and is at least a ten horse power,
working with fifty pounds--or, the engine now building for the
Hartford boat. This engine will have two cylinders of seventeen
inches diameter and eighteen inch stroke; they will revolve fifty
times a minute. The area of the piston in each being 227 inches,
steam at fifty pounds will give an hundred horse power.

This boat is seventy-seven feet long, twenty-one feet wide, and
measures one hundred and thirty-six tons. The engine, with its
boilers, will occupy sixteen feet by twelve, or one-eighth only
of the boat; the cylinders being hung on the timbers of the deck
over the boilers. She is principally intended to tow vessels up the
river to Hartford.

In towing, it is of importance that the engine admit of any
inferior velocity or power, till some momentum is had. An engine
working by atmospheric pressure does not admit of this. And as the
boat herself, at the moment of commencing the operation, may have
no steerage-way, by placing two blade-rudders at the sides, behind
the water-wheel, where a current is occasioned by them, the boat is
kept in her relative position.

The application of the steam-engine to the towing of other vessels
was fully appreciated by the late Mr. Fulton, whose conspicuous
labours and enterprise, in the establishment of steam-boats,
the public duly honours. His active mind had conceived of its
utility; and he would have obtained a patent, had not the previous
employment of steam in this way, and the award of arbitrators
on the question been in my favour; which I mention merely in
reference to the supposed utility of this mode of operation, in
connexion with Morey's engine.

Morey's engine should rather be denominated a revolving engine than
a rotatory one, especially as it is essentially different from one
so called invented by Mr. Curtis.

Plate I. Fig. 5, represents the arrangement of a double engine
for a boat, with its cylinders in different positions. _a a
a_, boilers; _b b_, tar-vessel; _c_, valve-box; _d_, cylinders
in different positions; _e_, piston-rod; _f_, pitman; _h_,
centre-piece; _i i_, shaft; _k_, valve; _l_, steam-pipe; _m_,
escape-pipe; _n_, condensers; _t_, water-wheel; _v_, face of the
valves; _x_, tar-fire. The frame, holding the cylinder (_d_) is, by
its opposite sides, so hung as to revolve. To the end of the axis
of one side, extended over the cylinder, is fixed the centre-piece
(_h_) resembling a crank, from which the bar or pitman (_f_)
communicates to the cross-piece of the piston-rod. On this same
axis, but outside the frame, is placed two circular pieces, one
of brass, the other of iron, (_k_) which we may call the valves.
One is fixed on the axis, the other moves, and accompanies the
frame and cylinder in its revolution; from it, at opposite sides,
pipes lead the steam to each end of the cylinder. It has a smooth
face, which applies, and is kept by springs close to that of its
counterpart fixed on the said axis. Steam-pipes lead from the
boilers through the counterpart into the moving valve. On the
opposite side of the fixed piece the eduction-pipe (_o o_) leads to
the condensers.

The condensers (_p_) are upright vessels, two to each cylinder,
connected at top by a sliding valve box, so that the steam enters
them alternately. At bottom are two valves, kept closed by weights.
A stream of water is injected into the condensers, which escapes by
the bottom valves (_p p_) by which also the air is blown out, at
every stroke, in the same manner the engine is cleared of air at

There are also two cocks and cross-pipes seen, Plate III. Fig. 4,
to change the steam from one side to the other of the valve, to
give a reversed motion of the engine.

The power is communicated to its object from the opposite side of
the frame by the axis attached thereto, and supported on bearings.
This axis (_i i_) may be of any length; may terminate in a crank
or cog-wheel, or another cylinder (as here represented) may be
attached thereto at right angles to the first, to co-operate and
produce, at every moment, equal power.

Plate II. Fig. 6. Profile of the above. _a a_, the boiler; _c_,
valve; _d e g_, cylinder and frame; _f_, valve; _h h_, cog-wheels;
_i_, cog-wheels to move the pumps; _k k_, condensers; _m m_,
coverings in; _o o_, gas-fire flue.

Fig. 1. _a_, steam-pipe; _b_, escape-pipe; _c_, fixed valve; _d_,
moving valve; _e_, axis; _f_, a washer; _g_, section of frame; _h_,
a washer; _i_, centre-piece; _l l_, steam-pipe; _k k_, springs to
keep the valves together.

The canal-boat has her wheel in the stern. (See Plate IV.) The
motion is given by a cog-wheel upon its axis (_g_) played upon
by another, upon a shaft, at right angles, to which the engine
communicates motion. The wheel being divided by a space of two or
three inches, into two parts, to allow room for this shaft, and for
the support of its end.

Fig. 3, represents the arrangement of the machinery, occupying
the after-part of the boat. An engine of twenty horse power may
thus occupy half a canal-boat, can tow a number of others at such
rate as may be proper on canals.[23] _b b_, the boilers; _c_,
tar-vessel; _d_, the cylinder; _f_, water-wheel.

The supply of water to the boilers is either by a pump, in usual
form, or by the _supply-chamber_ of my invention, (Plate III. Fig.
2.) which consists simply of a pipe having two stop-cocks, one end
in a reservoir, the other opening into the boiler at top, sloping
downward for a foot or two. The cocks are in the sloping point. The
operation commences, by opening the cock nearest the boiler, the
steam drives the air out of the pipe through the water into the
reservoir; shut the cock, and the water rises from the reservoir
to fill it; shut the second cock, and open the first, the water
discharges from the chamber into the boiler; repeated by a movement
from the engine, when in motion, the supply continues with more
certainty than by a pump, because it is difficult to pump hot
water, on account of the elasticity of the steam arising from it,
which obstructs the operation of the valves. And it is important
not to have to pump against the pressure of high steam.[24]

Plate III. Fig. 4. The mode of changing the passage of the steam to
the opposite sides of the valves, in order to get a reversed motion
of the engine. _a a_, the fixed part, or valves; _c d_, the pipes;
_f g_, the cross pipes; _e e_, the cocks, which are represented
open, to pipes _c_ and _d_--turn them half round, they close _c_
and _d_, and open _f_ and _g_. Fig. 1 shows the side-rudders, _d_,
_e_, &c.

To this engine is conveniently applied the gas-fire, in the
following manner.

The boilers being cylindrical, with an inside flue for fuel, two or
three are placed close together, and set in the following manner:
First, cross-bars of iron are laid on the timbers, a platform of
sheet-iron is laid on these bars, coated over with clay mortar,
or cemented, to keep out the air. Upon the sheet-iron, and over
the bars below, are placed cast-iron blocks in shape to fit the
curve of the boiler, so as to raise it three or four inches above
the platform. The sheet-iron is continued up the outsides of the
outer boilers, so as to enclose them; and at one end, between the
boilers, there are small grates for coal or other fuel.

The tar vessel or vessels, as the case may be, are lodged in the
space between and upon the boilers, and a small fire may be made
under them, if necessary. A pipe leads steam in at one end, two
pipes at the other; one near the bottom, and one near the top, lead
out the tar and steam. These pipes unite below; the steam and tar,
thus mingled in suitable proportions, flow to the main fire, or the
flues of the boilers, as well as to the coal-fire below, where
the gas and tar are ignited. The fireman judges of the proportion
of each, by the effect; the object being to produce a nearly white
flame without appearance of tar. Thus flame is applied to the
greatest possible surface, and the apparatus adds very little to
the cost of the engine.

There are also two improvements in the boiler, which I deem it
important to mention. First, the lining or covering of the flue
within with sheet-iron or copper, _perforated with small holes_,
reaching down its sides, nearly to the bottom. Plate III. Fig. 2.
_a_ the boiler; _b_ the flue; _d_ the grate; _c c_ the lining.

This causes the water to circulate rapidly between them to the top
of the flue, and protects it from being run dry, or heated red hot,
when the water gets, by accident, too low. The lining also _causes
the steam to form much faster, in consequence of this circulation_.

The other is the interior boiler. A vessel occupying the back part
of the flue. Plate II. Fig. 8. (_d_) communicating downwards with
the water, and upwards with the steam of the main boiler. The fire
acts upon it very forcibly, surrounding it on all sides.

I have said there is no reciprocating movement in Morey's engine.
Should it be objected that the piston moves in the cylinder as
usual, it must be apparent that it also moves circularly; it is
in fact the cylinder that moves, carrying the piston with it,
which gives and keeps up the motion, by drawing and pressing on
the centre-piece, and communicating the resistance thence to the
_guides_ of the cross-piece on the insides of the frame, which thus
receives its motion.

In fact, this form of the engine seems divested of all the usual
drawbacks on its power, and leaves it to act freely with any
velocity, according to the strength of the steam in the boilers.

Such it appears in principle, and such thus far in practise. I have
therefore preferred it for the purposes of navigation, and have
purchased the patent right. But, though interested to recommend it,
I cannot expect it to be preferred by the intelligent, if there is
not merit in the invention, and great economy in its use. It may be
considered the most direct application of the power, and the most
unexceptionable mode of using the expansive force of high steam.
And from the nature of its movement the most applicable to boats
and vessels.

Your Journal being the intended medium of information to promote
the useful arts, I hope it may be consistent with this object
to explain the manner in which these improvements may be made
extensively useful.

It being necessary to supply the engines at a reasonable rate,
I have established a manufactory for this kind only. The great
expense of steam-boats hitherto, has confined their use too
exclusively to the accommodation of passengers. There is a wide
field opening for their use, in freighting, on all our waters; and
it is often of importance to a community, when great savings can be
made, that large capitalists should be induced to engage that such
savings may be greater. Where companies are formed for an extensive
operation, the legislature may, with propriety, grant an extension
of the time for patents to run, that such persons may be duly
remunerated for their enterprise, by the duration of the service.

Our laws do not yet make a proper distinction between patents of a
large and expensive kind and those requiring little or no capital
to go into operation. The period of fourteen years remunerates the
inventor of those improvements only that require no capital, and
involve no risk.

On this ground several of the State legislatures have, with good
policy, given encouragement to this kind of enterprise. They
suspend the free use of the invention a few years, rather than
loose its immediate operation on a large scale of public benefit.

The constitutionality of the measure plainly appears by its not
interfering with the laws of the United States. It is not an act
exclusive of, or in opposition to, patents, but acknowledging
and confirming them. It is furthering and giving effect to the
intentions of the general government, in the encouragement of
useful inventions. For their own particular section of the union,
a State legislature may thus provide for the protection of capital,
engaged in enterprise of uncommon risk, as well as of uncommon
usefulness, without excluding other and better inventions, should
they arise.

I shall ask leave to communicate, for some future Number, the
results of experiments, now making, with the gas fire applied to

  I am your most respectful humble servant,


ART. XVI. _Cautions regarding Fulminating Powders._

_Fulminating Mercury._

During a late lecture in the laboratory of Yale College, a quantity
of fulminating mercury, probably about 100 or 150 grains, lay upon
a paper, the paper lay on a small stool, which was made of pine
plank, _one inch and a half thick_; a glass gas receiver, 5 or 6
quarts capacity, stood over the powder, as a guard, but without
touching it, and stool and all stood on one of the shelves of the
pneumatic cistern, surrounded by tall tubes and other glasses,
several of which were within 6 or 8 inches. A small quantity of
the fulminating powder, at the distance of a few feet, was merely
flashed, by a coal of fire, but without explosion. In a manner, not
easily understood, the whole quantity of powder under the large
glass instantly exploded with an astounding report; _but the glass
was not exploded_--it was merely thrown up a little; in its fall
it was shattered, and broke a glass which it hit, but no fragment
was _projected_, and none of the other contiguous tubes and glasses
were even overset, nor were any of a large audience, and some of
them very near, even scratched; _but the plank, one and a half inch
thick, on which the powder lay, had a hole blown quite through,
almost as large as the palm of one's hand_. This is a striking
instance to prove that the _initial_ force of this powder, when
exploded, is very great, but that it extends but a very little way.
If it be strewed through a glass tube of three-fourths of an inch
in diameter, and exploded by a coal of fire or hot iron, the tube
may be held in the naked hand, and the powder only flashes without
breaking the tube, and merely coats it over inside, and that very
prettily, with the revived quicksilver.

_Fulminating Silver._

Chemists are too well acquainted with the tremendous energy of
this preparation, to make any comment upon its powers necessary.
Unhappily, however, it is now made a subject of amusement; it is
prepared for sale by those who know nothing of it, except as a
nostrum, and it is bought by others who have not even this degree
of knowledge. It is true it is put up in small quantities, in the
little toys called torpedoes, and, if exploded one by one, they
will ordinarily do no harm; but as they fall into the hands of
children, we can never be secure that they will be discreetly used.

A very severe accident, from the unexpected explosion of
this substance, occurred some years since in the laboratory
of Yale College. (See Bruce's Journal, Vol. I. p. 163.) And,
notwithstanding that this occurrence was well known in New-Haven,
the same accident, only under a severer form, has again occurred in
that town.

A man who had bought the secret of making fulminating silver, had
prepared as much as resulted from the solution of one ounce and
a half. Apparently, in a great measure, unaware of the nature of
the preparation, he had placed it, unmixed with any thing, on an
earthen plate, which stood on a table; his wife and children being
around, he sat down to distribute the powder upon several papers
which he had prepared for the purpose; sand and shot are mixed
with the powder in the papers for the purpose of giving momentum,
and of producing attrition when the torpedo is thrown, in order
to ensure its explosion. Probably also the sand, looking not very
unlike the powder, may be intended to screen it from view, and thus
to preserve the secret, should the papers be opened. The unhappy
man no sooner touched the fulminating silver with a knife, than it
exploded with its usual violence; the table was split in two; blood
issued copiously from every part of his face, not from wounds, for
it does not appear that the fragments hit him, but, according to
the opinion of a competent judge, the blood was actually forced
through the pores of the skin by the power of the explosion, which
very nearly destroyed his eyes. He suffered immensely, but now, at
the end of eight months, sees partially with one eye, but the other
is nearly, if not quite, destroyed.

Should not the tampering with such dangerous substances by ignorant
people be prevented by law?

In a late lecture in the laboratory of Yale College, some
fulminating silver, on the point of a knife, was in the act
of being put upon a copper-plate connected with one pole of a
galvanic battery in active operation, the other pole was not
touched by the experimenter; but it seems that the influence which
was communicated through the floor of the room was sufficient
instantly to explode the powder, as soon as the knife touched the
copper-plate; the knifeblade was broken in two, and one half of it
thrown to a distance among the audience.

Recently also, we are informed, in one of the foreign journals,
that a man in England, who accidentally trod on a quantity of
fulminating silver, had his foot nearly destroyed by the explosion.


ART. XIX. _Account of an economical method of obtaining Gelatine
from bones, as practised in Paris. Communicated to the Editor by

  _Paris, 16th May, 1818._


A few days since I visited the very interesting establishment of M.
Robert, for the extraction of the gelatinous matter from bones.

The bones used for this purpose are those only which answered
no useful purpose (except for the fabrication of phosphorus or
ammoniac) before this discovery, such as those of the head, the
ribs, &c. &c., the legs of sheep and calves, &c. Those formerly
used by _toysmen_ (_Tabletiers_) are still used for that purpose,
after extracting so much of the gelatine as can be done by

When the heads of oxen are to be operated upon, they begin by
extracting the teeth, (these are reserved for the fabrication of
ammoniac, as affording a greater proportion of that alkali than any
of the other bones,) they then break the skull, in such manner as
to preserve all the compact parts in as regular forms as possible;
these pieces present a surface of 20 to 30 square inches, and are
put to soak in a mixture of muriatic acid and water. The muriatic
acid used bears about twenty-three degrees o£ the _aeromètre_,
and is diluted by water to about six degrees--four parts of the
liquor is used to one part of bones. They are left in this state,
in open vessels, until a complete solution of the phosphate of
lime has taken place, and the gelatinous part of the bone remains
in its original shape and size, and is perfectly supple. When this
operation is finished, which commonly lasts six or eight days, the
gelatine is put into baskets, being first drained, and immersed
a short time in boiling water, in order to extract any small
remains of grease, which would deteriorate the gelatine, and also
to extract any of the acid which might be lodged in the pores. It
is then carefully wiped with clean linen, and afterward washed in
copious streams of cold water, to whiten it, and render it more
transparent; it is then put to dry in the shade.

Two ounces of this gelatine are said to be equal to three pounds of
beef in making soup--that is, three pounds of beef and two ounces
of gelatine will make as much soup, and of as good quality, as six
pounds of beef. It is constantly used in some of the hospitals of
the capital, particularly in the lying-in-hospital.

The ends of the bones, and such parts as from their porosity might
still retain a portion of the acid, are separated, and used for
making glue of a very superior quality.

The inside of the bones of sheep's legs furnish a sort of
membranous glue, which supplies, with advantage, the place of
isinglass in the fabrication of silk stuffs.

I give you these particulars, not because I think they contain any
thing new to you, _in principle_, but because I may have hit upon
some _details_ with which you were unacquainted.

ART. XX. _Experiments made in France upon the Use of Distilled
Seawater for domestic purposes, and its Effects on the
Constitution, when taken as a Beverage._[25]

In consequence of the great want of good fresh water in many of
the maritime parts of France, the government some time since
ordered some experiments to be made, upon an extensive scale, in
order to ascertain how far seawater, when distilled, could be used
with success. Little or no use had hitherto been made of water so
prepared, except in long voyages, and chiefly then only as a matter
of necessity. There are above two hundred leagues of seacoast in
France, where, to the breadth of many miles, the inhabitants are
compelled to make use of bad and impure water, which, in many
cases, is injurious to the health of themselves and their animals.
In similar cases, it was the custom of the ancients to construct
cisterns; but these are not only expensive in themselves, but
their utility depends upon the quantity of rain that falls; while
upon the shores of the most barren places, nature has supplied a
variety of vegetable matter, which, when dried, would not only
serve as a fuel for the purposes of distillation, but from the
ashes of which might be obtained a saline substance, sufficient to
repay the expense of collecting, drying, and burning. Thus the fuel
for the distillation of seawater would, in reality, cost nothing,
while its preparation would employ many individuals, particularly
women and children. Before, however, erecting any apparatus for
this purpose, it was necessary to ascertain both the utility and
salubrity of the water thus prepared.

It is well known that Bougainville, Phipps, Homelin, &c. had
employed this water with much success; but they, like most of the
chemists of the last age, did not endeavour to imitate the process
of nature in all its simplicity, but mixed various substances
with the seawater, in order to take away or lessen the effect of
the empyreuma arising from the distillation, and which was so
unpleasant to the smell and taste. And it is this which in general
renders sailors so averse to it, and excites a prejudice very
unfavourable to the salubrity of distilled seawater. One of the
great objects to be ascertained was, whether this disagreeable
smell and taste was peculiar to seawater or arose from the act of

In the month of July, last year, the king ordered some experiments
to be made, upon a large scale, at the three ports of Brest,
Rochefort, and Toulon. The instructions given were as follows: That
a sufficient quantity of seawater should be distilled to prepare,
for the space of a month, bread and other food for a certain number
of criminals, who were employed on the works of these ports, and
also to supply them with drink, keeping from them during that
period every other liquid. Ten or twelve persons at each part
voluntarily came forward and offered themselves for the experiment.

The persons employed by government first distilled a sufficient
quantity of seawater, without the admixture of any other substance.
This produce dissolved soap, dressed vegetables, produced the same
appearances, with the aerometer, as that distilled from spring
water. There was no difference between the one and the other. But
the distilled seawater had always that empyreumatic taste and
smell, of which we have before spoken; and it was so strong, that
the commission at Toulon called it _odeur de marine_, and _odeur de
marecage_. But this is not peculiar to seawater, for the result of
a distillation of fresh water had always the same taste and smell.
Neither of these liquids immediately loses this by being filtered
through charcoal; but by being exposed for some time to the air,
the distilled seawater loses this unpleasant quality, and then it
does not differ from fresh water derived from the purest source;
and both have equally stood every chemical test to which they have
been exposed. The chemical properties of this water having thus
been determined, it remains to give an account of the effects
upon the individuals who underwent the experiment. These are the
principal results:

_Brest._ During the first days, those who drank the water
complained of a weight upon the stomach. This indisposition, which
was the only one they experienced, soon decreased upon taking
exercise, and totally went off by an additional ounce of biscuit
added to their common ration. One of them, on the 29th day, had a
few symptoms, but which he himself attributed to an indigestion,
from some bacon he had eaten. Eight individuals drank twenty-five
pints a day, rather more than three pints each,--(N. B. The French
pint contains very near fifty-seven cubic inches of English
measure, and is the regulation size for the claret or Bordeaux
bottle; but in general the bottles are rather smaller. The French
pint is therefore equal to rather more than nineteen-twentieths of
an English quart, wine measure.)

_Toulon._ The results obtained at the arsenal of this town, were
not less decisive or satisfactory. The six persons who made
the experiment acquired a greater degree of freshness in their
appearance, and were much fatter. Their daily consumption of
distilled water was nine pounds (_poids de marc_) for drink,
and eleven pounds for cooking. This is nearly the same relative
quantity as those at Brest.

_Rochefort._ The experiments here have not been made with the same
regularity; because the fifteen persons fixed upon had all agreed
to say that they were very ill. The two principal ones complained
of violent cholics and diarrhœas: but the plot was discovered,
and upon being put upon the sick-list, (_à la diète_,) they
were laughed at by their companions. No one of them was really
indisposed; on the contrary, many thought they experienced some
good effect in regard to some infirmities under which they had long

The above are not, however, the only experiments which have been
made upon this beverage. Several persons wishing to ascertain
its effects by individual experience, have voluntarily confined
themselves to its use; and the members of the commission of inquiry
are almost in the daily practice of taking it. The captain of the
Duclat has taken it every day at his meals for twenty days, and
has experienced not the smallest inconvenience from its use. M. M.
Vasse, and Chatelain, apothecaries to the marine at Brest, have
occasionally kept the water in their mouths for four hours, by
constantly renewing it, and have not found either the sharp taste,
or other caustic qualities, which have been said to be peculiar
to it. And here it may be proper to state, that the mouths of
all the individuals who had taken the water for a length of time
were examined, without the detection of any thing in them either
of a swollen or inflammatory appearance. Such are the reports of
commissioners employed to investigate the effects of distilled
seawater, who, although separated at a great distance from each
other, and having no communication, all agree in the inference,
that it may be employed without any injury to the health, both as
a beverage and in cookery, for the space of at least a month; and
the fair presumption is, that it may be employed for a much longer
time; and that in consequence, it must be considered as a very
happy resource in long voyages of discovery.


ART. XXI. _Essay on Musical Temperament. By Professor_ FISHER, _of
Yale College_.

[_Concluded from page 35._]


  To determine that position of any degree in the scale, which will
  render all the concords terminated by it, at a medium, the most
  harmonious; supposing their relative frequency given, and all the
  other degrees fixed.

The best scheme of temperament for the changeable scale, on
supposition that all the concords were of equally frequent
occurrence, is investigated in Prop. III. But it is shown, in
the last Proposition, that some chords occur in practice far
more frequently than others. Hence it becomes necessary to
ascertain what changes in the scale above referred to, this
different frequency requires. Any given degree, as C, terminates
six different concords; a Vth, IIId, and 3d above, and the same
intervals below it. Let the numbers denoting the frequency of
these chords below C be denoted by _a_, _b_, and _c_, and their
temperaments, before the position of C is changed, by _m_, _n_,
and _p_: and let the frequency of the chords above C be denoted by
_a′_, _b′_, and _c′_, and their temperaments by _m′_, _n′_, and
_p′_, respectively. If, now, we regard any two of these 6 chords,
whose temperaments would be diminished by moving C opposite ways,
and of which the sum of the temperaments is consequently fixed, it
is manifest that the more frequent the occurrence, the less ought
to be the temperament. Were we guided _only_ by the consideration
of making the aggregate of dissonance heard in them in a given
time, the least possible, we should make the one of most frequent
occurrence perfect, and throw the whole of the temperament upon the
other. Let, for example, _a_ be greater than _a′_, and let _x_
be any variable distance to which C is moved, so as to diminish
the temperament _m_, of the chord whose frequency is expressed by
_a_. Then the temperament of _a_ will become = _m_ ~ _x_, and that
of _a′_ = _m′_ + _x_. Hence, as the dissonance head in each, in a
given time, is in the compound ratio of its frequency of occurrence
and its temperament, their aggregate dissonance will be as

  a · (m ~ x) + a′ · (m′ + x);

a quantity which, as _a_ is supposed greater than _a′_, evidently
becomes a minimum when _x_ = _m_, or the chord, whose frequency is
_a_, is made perfect. But in this way we render the harmony of the
chords very unequal, which is, cæteris paribus, a disadvantage.
As these considerations are heterogeneous, it must be a matter
of judgment, rather than of mathematical certainty, what precise
weight is to be given to each. We will give so much weight to the
latter consideration, as to make the temperament of each concord
_inversely as its frequency_. We have then

  a : a′ :: 1/(m - x) : 1/(m′ + x);

which gives x = (am - a′m′)/(a + a′).

But there are six concords to be accommodated, instead of two; and
it is evident that all the pairs cannot have their temperament
inversely as their frequency, since the numbers _a_, _b_, &c.
and _m_, _n_, &c. have no constant ratio to each other. This,
however, will be the case, at a medium, if _x_ be made such, that
the _sum_ of the products of the numbers expressing the frequency
of those chords whose temperaments are increased by _x_, into
their respective temperaments, shall be equal to the sum of the
corresponding products belonging to those chords whose temperaments
are diminished by _x_. Applying this principle to the system of
temperament in Prop. III, which flattens all the concords, it
is plain that raising any given degree by _x_ will increase the
temperaments of the concords above that degree, and diminish those
of the concords below it. Hence it ought to be raised till

  (m - x) a + (n - x)b + (p - x)c = (m′ + x)a + (n′ + x)b′ +
  (p + x)c′;

from which _x_ is found

  = (am - a′m′ + bn - b′n′ + cp - c′p′) /
        (a + a′ + b + b′ + c + c′)

Should either of the temperaments be sharp, the sign of that term
of the numerator, in which it occurs, must be changed; and should
the total value of the expression be negative, _x_ must be taken
below C.


  To determine that system of temperaments for the concords of
  the changeable scale, which will render it, including every
  consideration, the most harmonious possible.

We can scarcely expect to find any direct analytical process, which
will furnish us with a solution of this complicated problem, at
a single operation. We shall therefore content ourselves with a
method which gradually approximates towards the desired results.
The best position of any given degree, as C, supposing all the rest
fixed, is determined by the last proposition. In the same manner
it is evident that the constitution of the whole scale will be the
best possible, when no degree in it can be elevated or depressed,
without rendering the sums of the products there referred to,
unequal. We can approximate to this state of the scale, by applying
the theorem in Prop. V. to each of the degrees successively. It
is not essential in what order the application is made; but for
the sake of uniformity, in the successive approximations, we will
begin with that degree which has the greatest sum _a_ + _a′_ +
_b_ + &c. belonging to it, and proceed regularly to that in which
it is least. Making the equal temperament of Prop. III., (in
which the Vths, IIIds, and 3ds are flattened, 154, 77 and 77,
respectively.) the standard from which to commence the alterations
in the scale required by the unequal frequency of different chords,
and beginning with D, the theorem gives _x_ = 5. Hence supposing
the rest of the degrees in the scale unaltered, it will be in the
most harmonious state, when D is raised 5/540 of a comma. For by
the last proposition, the temperament of the six concords affected
by changing the place of D is best distributed, and that of the
other concords is not at all affected. We will now proceed to the
second degree in the scale, viz. A; in which the application of
the theorem gives _x_ = 13. In this application, however, as D was
before raised 5, _m_, the temperament of the Vth below A, must be
taken 154 + 5; and in all the succeeding operations, when the
exterior termination of any concord has been already altered, we
must take its temperament, not what it was at first, but what it
has become, by such previous alteration. In this manner, the scale
is becoming more harmonious at every step, till we have completed
the whole succession of degrees which it contains.

Let us now revert to D, the place where we began. As each of the
outer extremities of the chords which are terminated by D has
been changed, a new application of the theorem will give a second
correction for the place of D; although, as the numbers _a_, _a'_,
_b_, &c. continue the same, it will be less than before. Continue
the process through the whole scale, and a second approximation to
the most harmonious state will be obtained. In this manner let the
theorem be applied, till the value of _x_ is exhausted, for every
degree; and it will then be in the most harmonious state possible.
Three operations gave the following results:


  |      |    1st    | 2d. | 3d. |
  |Bases.| Operation.|     |     |
  |  F♯  |    +18    |  +5 |  +1 |
  |  F   |    -20    |  -6 |  -1 |
  |  E♯  |    +18    |  +5 |   0 |
  |  E   |    +14    |  +5 |   0 |
  |  E♭ |    -69    |  -8 |  -1 |
  |  D♯  |    +19    |  +5 |  +1 |
  |  D   |     +5    |  +2 |  +1 |
  |  D♭ |    -45    |  -7 |  -2 |
  |  C♯  |    +18    |  +6 |   0 |
  |  C   |     -5    |  -5 |  -2 |
  |  B♯  |    +18    |  +5 |   0 |
  |  B   |    +19    |  +5 |   0 |
  |  B♭ |    -23    | -10 |  -1 |
  |  A♯  |    +18    |  +7 |   0 |
  |  A   |    +13    |  +4 |  +1 |
  |  A♭ |    -71    |  -7 |  -2 |
  |  G♯  |    +17    |  +5 |   0 |
  |  G   |    -14    |   0 |   0 |
  |  F♯♯ |    +44    |  +5 |   0 |
  |  G♭ |    -46    |  -5 |   0 |

The sign _plus_ denotes that the degree to which it belongs is to
be raised, and _minus_, that it is to be depressed. The corrections
in each succeeding operation are to be added to those in the
preceding. The errors, in the 3d approximation, are so trifling,
that a 4th would be wholly useless.

NOTE. The foregoing calculations will be rendered much more
expeditious and sure, by reducing the theorem, in some sense, to a
diagram, as in the first of the following figures; and by applying
the successive corrections to the circumference of a circle divided
into parts proportioned to the intervals of the enharmonic scale,
as in the second.



  To determine the temperaments and beats of all the concords,
  together with the values of the diatonic and chromatic intervals,
  and the lengths and vibrations per second of a string producing
  all the sounds, of the system resulting from the last proposition.

The temperaments of all the concords are easily deduced from Table
V. The Vth CG, for example, has its lower extremity lowered 12, and
its upper extremity 14. Hence it is flatter by 2 than at first,
and consequently its temperament=156. The temperaments of all the
concords, thus calculated, will be found in the 2d, 3d, and 4th
columns of Table VII.

Having ascertained the temperaments, the value of the diatonic and
chromatic intervals may be found. The Vth CG being flattened 156,
and the Vth FC 139, the major tone FG must be diminished 156 +
139, or be = 4820. By thus fixing the extent of one interval after
another, from the temperaments of either of the different kinds of
concords, as is most convenient, the intervals in question will be
found to have the values exhibited in Table VI.

Let the numbers in this table be added successively, beginning at
the bottom, to the log. of 240, the number of vibrations per second
of the tenor C, (see Rees's Cyc. Art. Concert Pitch,) and the
numbers corresponding to these logarithms will be the vibrations in
a second, of a string sounding the several degrees of the scale.
They are shown in col. 6, Table VII.

Since the length of a string cæteris paribus is inversely as its
number of vibrations, the lengths in col. 5 may be deduced from
the vibrations in col. 6; or more expeditiously, by subtracting
the numerical distances from C of the several degrees in Table VI.
from O, and taking the corresponding numbers, from the table of
logarithms. These numbers, when used as logarithms, must be brought
back to the decimal form, agreeably to Scholium 2. Prop. I.

To find the number of beats made in a second by any concord, it
is only necessary to take from col. 5 the numbers belonging to
the degrees which terminate that concord, and to multiply them
crosswise into the terms of its perfect ratio. The difference of
the products will be the number of beats made in a second. The 3
last columns contain the beats made by each of the concords, in 10


  C  +------+------+------+ C
     | 2998 | 2998 +------+ B♯
     |      |      | 1772 |
  B  +------+------+------+ B
     | 1831 |      | 3033 |
  B♭|------+ 4813 |      |
     |      |      +------+ A♯
     | 2982 |      | 1780 |
  A  +------+------+------+ A
     | 1871 |      | 3030 |
  A♭+------+ 4839 |      |
     |      |      +------+ G♯
     | 2968 |      | 1809 |
  G  +------+------+------+ G
     | 1814 |      +------+ F♯♯
     |      |      | 1798 |
  G♭+------+ 4820 +------+ F♯
     |      |      |      |
     | 3006 |      | 1824 |
  F  +------+------+------+ F
     |      |      +------+ E♯
     | 2988 | 2988 |      |
     |      |      | 1777 |
  E  +------+------+------+ E
     | 1870 |      | 3028 |
     |      |      |      |
  E♭+------+ 4818 |      |
     | 2948 |      +------+ D♯
     |      |      | 1790 |
  D  +------+------+------+ D
     | 1835 |      | 3018 |
  D♭+------+ 4827 |      |
     |      |      +------+ C♯
     | 2992 |      | 1809 |
  C  +------+------+------+ C


  |     |Temperaments of the||Lengths|Vibrations||Beats in 10 S. of the|
  |Bases+-------------------+|   of  |   in a   |+-------+------+------+
  |     |Vths♭|IIIds♭|3ds♭||String.| Second.  || Vths. |IIIds.| 3ds. |
  | B♯  |      |      |  77 || 51431 |  466,64  ||       |      | 43,4 |
  | B   | 154  |  76  |  93 || 53574 |  447,98  ||  47,4 | 39,0 | 57,8 |
  | B♭ | 147  |  35  |  97 || 55880 |  429,49  ||  43,5 | 17,7 | 57,4 |
  | A♯  | 156  |      |  78 || 57448 |  417,77  ||  45,1 |      | 46,2 |
  | A   | 153  |  71  | 107 || 59852 |  400,99  ||  42,5 | 33,5 | 59,4 |
  | A♭ | 154  |   9  |     || 62487 |  384,08  ||  40,4 |  4,0 |      |
  | G♯  | 151  |  76  |  75 || 64177 |  373,97  ||  39,1 | 32,9 | 39,2 |
  | G   | 132  |  39  |  97 || 66907 |  358,71  ||  32,9 | 16,3 | 48,1 |
  | F♯♯ |      |      | 101 || 68778 |  348,95  ||       |      | 48,5 |
  | G♭ |      |  56  |     || 69760 |  344,03  ||       | 21,9 |      |
  | F♯  | 154  |  76  |  83 || 71685 |  334,80  ||  36,0 | 29,2 | 38,5 |
  | F   | 139  |  32  | 130 || 74760 |  321,03  ||  30,9 | 11,9 | 57,8 |
  | E♯  | 154  |      |  78 || 76874 |  312,20  ||  33,2 |      | 33,5 |
  | E   | 149  |  74  | 110 || 80085 |  299,68  ||  30,8 | 25,2 | 45,3 |
  | E♭ | 110  |  13  |  54 || 83608 |  287,05  ||  21,7 |  4,1 | 21,5 |
  | D♯  | 154  |  53  |  78 || 85868 |  279,50  ||  29,6 | 17,0 | 30,0 |
  | D   | 144  |  61  | 112 || 89480 |  268,21  ||  26,5 | 18,5 | 41,1 |
  | D♭ | 180  |  50  |     || 93342 |  257,12  ||  32,0 | 14,8 |      |
  | C♯  | 156  |  78  |  82 || 95920 |  250,20  ||  26,6 | 22,0 | 28,0 |
  | C   | 156  |  46  | 143 ||100000 |  240,00  ||  25,8 | 12,8 | 47,5 |


  To compare the harmoniousness of the foregoing system with that
  of several others, which have been most known and approved.

The aggregate of dissonance, heard in any tempered concord, is as
its temperament (Prop. I.) when its frequency of occurrence is
given, and as its frequency of occurrence, when its temperament
is given: hence, universally, it is as the product of both. The
whole amount of dissonance heard in all the concords of the same
name must consequently be as the sum of the products of the numbers
denoting their temperaments, each into the number in Table IV.
denoting its frequency. These products, for the scale of Huygens
which divides the octave into 31 equal parts, of which the tone is
5 and the semi-tone 3; for the system of mean tones, and for Dr.
Smith's system of equal harmony, compared with the scale of the
last proposition, (cutting off the three right-hand figures) stand
as follows:


  |      Systems.      |Huygen's.|Dr. Smith's.|Mean Tones.|New Scale.|
  | Dissonance { Vths  |   825   |     945    |    850    |   786    |
  | of the     { IIIds |   121   |     382    |      0    |   240    |
  |            { 3ds   |  1049   |     629    |    944    |   683    |
  |       Total        |  1995   |    1956    |   1794    |  1709    |

Were we to adhere to Dr. Smith's measure of equal harmony, the rows
of products belonging to the Vths, IIIds, and 3ds, must be divided,
respectively, by ⅓, 1/10, and 1/13 (the reciprocals of half the
products of the terms of their perfect ratios,) before they could
be properly added to express the whole amount of dissonance heard
in all the concords; but, according to Prop. I. the simple products
ought to be added, and the sums at the bottom of the table will
express the true ratio of the aggregate dissonance of the systems
under which they stand. The last has decidedly the advantage
over the first, both in regard to the aggregate dissonance, and
the equality of its distribution among the different classes of
concords. It has nearly an equal advantage over the second in
regard to the first of these considerations; although in regard
to the equality of distribution, the latter has slightly the
advantage. It has, in a small degree, the advantage over the third,
in regard to the aggregate dissonance; while, as it respects the
equality of its distribution, it has the decided preference. It is
true that the temperaments of the concords of the same name, in the
new scale, are not as in the others, absolutely equal; but no one
of them is so large as to give any offence to the nicest ear. The
largest in the whole scale exceeds the uniform temperament of Dr.
Smith's Vths by only 1/18 of a comma.

_Scholium_ 1.

The above system may be put in practice on the organ, by making the
successive Vths CG, GD, DE, &c. beat flat at the rate contained in
Table VII., descending an octave, where necessary, and doubling
the number of beats belonging to any degree in the table, when
the Vth to be tuned has its base in the octave above the treble
C. The tenor C must first be made to vibrate 240 in a second, the
methods of doing which are detailed at length in various authors.
Whenever a IIId results from the Vths tuned, its beats ought to be
compared with those required in the table, and the correctness of
the Vths thus proved. This system is as easy, in practice, as any
other; for no one can be tuned correctly except by counting the
beats, and rendering them conformable to what that system requires.
The intervals of the first octave tuned ought to be adjusted with
the utmost accuracy, by a table of beats. When this is done, the
labour of making perfect the other octaves of the same stop, and
the unisons, octaves, Vths, &c. of the other stops, is the same
in every system. This last, indeed, is so much the most laborious
part of the tuning of the organ, that if even much more labour
were required than actually is, in adjusting the intervals of the
octave first tuned it would occasion little difference in the whole.

_Scholium_ 2.

The harmony of the IIIds and 3ds in any of the foregoing systems
for the changeable scale is so much finer than it can possibly be
in the common Douzeave, that it seems highly desirable that this
scale should be introduced into general use. But the increased bulk
and expense attendant on the introduction of so many new pipes or
strings, together with the trouble occasioned to the performer, in
rectifying the scale for music in the different keys, have hitherto
prevented its becoming generally adopted. To multiply the number
of finger keys would render execution on the instrument extremely
difficult; and the apparatus necessary for transferring the action
of the same key from one string or set of pipes to another, besides
being complicated and expensive, requires such exactness that
it must be continually liable to get out of order. This latter
expedient, however, has been deemed the only practicable one,
and has been carried into effect, under different forms, by Dr.
Smith, Mr. Hawkes, M. Loeschman, and others. But Dr. Smith's plan
(which is confined to stringed instruments) requires only one of
the unisons to be used at once; while those of the two latter
nearly double the whole number of strings or pipes. It deserves an
experiment, among the makers of imperfect instruments, whether a
changeable scale cannot be rendered practicable, at least on the
piano forte,[26] without increasing the number of strings, and at
the same time allowing both the unisons to be used together--either
by an apparatus for slightly increasing the tension of the strings,
or by one which shall intercept the vibrations of such a part of
the string, at its extremity, as shall elevate its tone, by the
diesis of the system of temperament adopted. Were only 4 degrees to
the octave, furnishing the instrument with 5 sharps and 4 flats,
thus rendered changeable, there is little music which could not be
correctly executed upon it.

_Scholium_ 3.

In the same general manner, may be found the best system of
intervals, for a scale confined to a less number of degrees than
that of the complete Enharmonic scale. In such an investigation,
the numbers in Table IV. expressing the frequency of all such
adjacent degrees as have but one sound in the given scale, must be
united; and the temperaments _m_, _n_, &c. of the theorem, when
belonging to concords whose terminating degrees are united to
those adjacent, must be taken, not what they were in the complete
scale, but what they become, considering them as terminated by the
substituted adjacent degree.

If, for example, the best temperaments were required for a scale of
15 degrees to the octave, such as is that of some European organs,
or in other words, having no Enharmonic intervals except D♯ E♭,
and G♯ A♭,--the numbers in Table IV. belonging to C♯ and D♭, E♯
and F, F♯ and G♭, &c. must be united, and their sums substituted
when they occur, for _a_, _a′_, _b_, &c. in the theorem; while the
temperament, for example, of the IIId on C♯ must not be reckoned
77 as in the complete scale, but 1261 - 77 sharp, since its upper
termination has become F, instead of E♯. With these variations let
the same theorem be applied as before, till no value of _x_ can
be obtained, and the temperaments for that scale will be the best
adjusted possible.

But as the scale which contains but 13 degrees, or 12 intervals, to
the octave, is in much more general use than every other, we shall
content ourselves with stating _how_ the problem may be solved for
scales containing any intermediate number of degrees, and proceed
directly to the consideration of that which is so much the most
practically important.


  No arrangement of the intervals in the common scale of 12
  degrees, which renders none of the Vths or 3ds sharp, and none of
  the IIIds flat, can make any change in the aggregate temperaments
  of all the concords of the same name.

We will conceive the 12 Vths of the Douzeave scale to be arranged
in succession, as CG, GD, DA, &c. embracing 7 octaves. Let them
at first be all equal: they will each be flattened 49. I say that
no change in these Vths which preserves the two extreme octaves
perfect, and renders none of them sharp, can alter the sum of their
temperaments. Let _a_, _b_, _c_, &c. be any quantities, positive
or negative, by which the points C, G, D, &c. may be conceived to
be raised above the corresponding points, belonging to the scheme
of equal Vths. Then as the mean temperament Vth = V - 49, the
first Vth in the supposed arrangement will be V - 49 + _a_. The
distance from C to D will be, in like manner, 2 · (V - 49) + _b_;
and consequently the Vth GD will be V - 49 + _b_ - _a_. In the same
manner the third Vth DE will be V - 49 + _c_ - _b_, &c. Hence the
temperament of CG = -49 + _a_, of GD = -49 + _b_ - _a_, of DA = -49
+ _c_ - _b_, &c. Adding the 12 temperaments together, we find their

  = -12 × 49 + a + b + &c. - a - b - &c.

in which all the terms except the first destroy each other, and
leave their sum = -12 × 49 which is the aggregate temperament of
the twelve equal Vths in the scheme of equal semitones.

The same reasoning holds good if we bring these Vths within the
compass of an octave; since, if the octave be kept perfect, all
the Vths on the same letter, in whatever octave they are situated,
must have the same temperament.

The reasoning is precisely the same for the IIIds and 3ds,
considering the former as forming 4 distinct series of an octave
each, beginning with C, C♯, D and E♭; and the latter as forming 3
distinct series of an octave each, beginning with C, C♯ and D. If
the former be made all equal, each will be sharpened 343; if the
latter be made equal, each will be flattened 392. In every system
which renders none of the former flat, and none of the latter
sharp, the sum of their temperaments will be 12 × 343, and 12 ×
392, respectively.

_Cor._ The demonstration holds equally true, whatever be the
magnitude of _a_, _b_, _c_, &c.: only if they be such that the
difference -_a_ + _b_, -_b_ + _c_, &c. of any two successive ones
be greater than the temperament of the corresponding concord in
the system of equal semitones, the temperament of that chord must
be reckoned negative, and the _sum_, in the enunciation of the
proposition, must be considered as the excess of those temperaments
which have the same sign with those of the same concords in the
system of equal semitones, above those which have the contrary
sign. Hence it is universally true that the excess of the flat
above the sharp temperaments of the Vths is equal to 12 × 49; that
the excess of the sharp above the flat temperaments of the IIIds
is equal to 12 × 343; and that the excess of the flat above the
sharp temperaments of the 3ds is 12 × 392. Hence likewise we have a
very easy method of _proving_ whether the temperaments of any given
system have been correctly calculated. It is only to add those
which have the same sign; and if the differences of the sums be
equal to the products just stated, the work is right.


  If all the concords of the same name, in a scale of twelve
  intervals to the octave, were of equally frequent occurrence, the
  best system of temperament would be that of equal semitones.

It is evidently best, so far as the concords of the same name
are concerned, that if of equal frequency, they should be
equally tempered, unless by rendering them unequal, their medium
temperament could be diminished; but this appears, from the Lemma,
to be impossible. By tempering them unequally, the aggregate
dissonance heard in a given time, by supposition of their equal
frequency, would not be diminished, whilst the disadvantage of a
transition from a better to a worse harmony would be incurred.
Some advocates of irregular systems of temperament have, indeed,
maintained this irregularity to be a positive advantage, as giving
variety of character to the different keys. But this variety
of character is obviously neither more nor less than that of
greater and less degrees of dissonance. Now, what performer on a
perfect instrument ever struck his intervals false, for the sake
of variety? Who was ever gratified by the variety produced in
vocal music by a voice slightly out of tune? If this be absurd,
when applied to instruments capable of perfect harmony, it is
scarcely less so to urge variety of character as being of itself
a sufficient ground for introducing large temperaments into the
scale. For these large temperaments will have nearly the same
effect, compared with the smaller ones, that small temperaments
would have, when compared with the perfect harmony of voices and
perfect instruments. Possibly a discordant interval, or a concord
largely tempered, might, in a few instances, add to the resources
of the composer. But when an instrument is once tuned, the
situation of these intervals is fixed beyond his control, and by
occurring in a passage where his design required the most perfect
harmony, it might as often thwart as favour the intended effect.

Since, then, the proposition is true in reference to the Vths,
IIIds, and 3ds, when separately considered, it will be equally true
when they are considered jointly, that is, as formed into harmonic
triads, unless, by rendering the concords of the same name unequal
in their temperament, the mean temperament of the Vths could be
increased, and that of the IIIds and 3ds proportionally diminished.
Could this be done, it might be a question whether the more equal
distribution of the temperament among the concords of different
names, might not justify the introduction of some inequality among
those of the same name. But it is demonstrated in the Lemma, that
the sum of the temperaments of each parcel of concords, in the
system of equal semitones, is the least possible. Hence no changes
in the Vths can diminish the average temperaments of the IIIds and

_Cor._ Hence we derive an important practical conclusion: that
whatever irregularities are introduced into the scale, must be
such as are demanded by the different frequency of occurrence of
the several concords. If we make any alterations in the scale of
equal semitones, this must be our sole criterion. A given system
of temperament is eligible, in proportion to the accuracy with
which it is deduced from the different frequency of the different
concords. And those who maintain that the frequency of different
intervals does not sensibly vary, or that it is of such a nature
as not to be susceptible of calculation, must, to be consistent,
adhere to the scale of equal semitones.


  To determine the best distribution of the temperaments of the
  concords in the Douzeave Scale.

As the scale of equal semitones has been demonstrated to be the
best, on supposition that all the concords of the same name
occurred equally often, it ought to be made the standard from
which all the variations, required by their unequal frequency, are
to be reckoned. To find a set of numbers expressing the relative
frequency of the several concords in the common scale, we have only
to unite the numbers in Table IV. standing against those adjacent
degrees which have but one sound in this scale. They will then
stand as in the following table:


  |      | Vths, 4ths,| IIIds, 6ths,| 3ds, VIths,|
  |Bases.|    and     |    and      |    and     |
  |      |  Octaves.  |  Octaves.   |  Octaves.  |
  | B    |    221     |    135      |   1161     |
  | B♭  |    418     |    654      |     34     |
  | A    |    870     |    568      |   1085     |
  | G♯   |     57     |     82      |    365⅕    |
  | G    |   1207     |   1197      |    567¼    |
  | F♯   |     67     |     29½     |   1072     |
  | F    |    639     |    924      |     78     |
  | E    |    548     |    323      |   1151     |
  | E♭  |    265⅓    |    363½     |    144½    |
  | D    |   1166     |    943      |    569     |
  | C♯   |     26     |     18      |    581     |
  | C    |    816     |   1131      |    184     |

The general theorem of Prop. V. is equally applicable to the
determination of the approximate place for any degree in this
scale, considering the numbers in the above table as those to be
substituted for _a_, _a′_, _b_, &c.; and _m_, _n_, and _p_, in the
first instance, as 49, -343 and 392, the uniform temperaments of
the Vths, IIIds, and 3ds, in the scale of equal semitones. Since,
however, the temperaments of the IIIds in this scale are sharp,
which would require the signs of the 3d and 4th terms in the
numerator of the general formula to be continually changed, it will
be rendered more convenient for practice, if they are changed at
first, so that it will stand thus:

  x = (am - a′m′ - bn + b′n′ + cp - c′p′) /
            (a + a′ + b + b′ + c + c′)

Three successive applications of this theorem to each degree in
the scale, in the manner described Prop. VI., will bring them very
near to the required position, as appears by the smallness of
the corrections in the 3d column below, where the results of the
several operations are exhibited at one view.


  |Bases.|  First   |  Second  |  Third   |
  |      |Operation.|Operation.|Operation.|
  | B    |   -140   |   -35    |   -2     |
  | B♭  |   +308   |   +33    |   -1     |
  | A    |     -8   |   -23    |   +2     |
  | G♯   |   -257   |   -22    |   -2     |
  | G    |   +107   |   +24    |   -8     |
  | F♯   |   -264   |    -7    |    0     |
  | F    |   +238   |   +40    |   +6     |
  | E    |    -80   |   -34    |   -4     |
  | E♭  |   +157   |    +2    |   -4     |
  | D    |    +58   |   + 8    |    0     |
  | C♯   |   -352   |   -29    |   -1     |
  | C    |   +176   |   +29    |   +4     |

_Cor._ Hence we may deduce, in the same manner as in Prop. VII.,
the diatonic and chromatic intervals, the lengths of a string and
their vibrations in a second, and the temperaments and beats of
all the concords for the scale which results from the foregoing
computations. They may be seen in the two following tables:



  C +------+------+ C
    | 2895 | 2895 |
  B +------+------+ B
    |      | 1991 |
    | 4869 +------+ B♭
    |      | 2878 |
  A +------+------+ A
    |      | 2761 |
    | 4865 +------| G♯
    |      | 2104 |
  G +------+------+ G
    |      | 2903 |
    | 4856 +------| F♯
    |      | 1953 |
  F +------+------+ F
    | 2911 | 2911 |
  E +------+------+ E
    |      | 2235 |
    | 4833 +------+ E♭
    |      | 2598 |
  D +------+------+ D
    |      | 2957 |
    | 4874 +------+ C♯
    |      | 1917 |
  C +------+------+ C


  |      |Temperaments of the ||Lengths|Vibrat- ||Beats in 10 Secs. of the|
  |Bases.+------+-------+-----+|   of  |ions per|+------+--------+--------+
  |      |Vths♭|IIIds ♯|3ds♭||Strings.|Second || Vths | IIIds  |   3ds  |
  | B    | 143  |  675  | 149 || 53446 | 449,04 || 44,0 | 352,8  |  92,4  |
  | B♭  | 105  |   69  |1114 || 55954 | 428,92 || 30,8 |  34,0  | 155,2♯ |
  | A    | 138  |  10.♭| 154 || 59787 | 401,42 || 38,6 |  4,6♭ |  85,2  |
  | G♯   | 387♯ |  833  | 288 || 63712 | 376,79 || 98,7♯| 360,5  | 155,4  |
  | G    | 106  |   43  | 175 || 66874 | 358,88 || 26,4 |  17,6  |  86,8  |
  | F♯   | 160  |  954  | 150 || 71496 | 335,68 || 37,2 | 372,8  |  69,8  |
  | F    | 124  |   30  | 957 || 74786 | 320,92 || 27,6 |  10,8  | 143,0♯ |
  | E    | 108  |  180  | 151 || 79970 | 300,10 || 22,2 |  66,6  |  62,0  |
  | E♭  | 136♯ |  311  | 818 || 84194 | 285,06 || 26,6♯| 102,2  | 186,6♯ |
  | D    | 144  |    6  | 174 || 89384 | 268,50 || 26,6 |   2,2  |  64,0  |
  | C♯   |  52♯ | 1009  | 128 || 95682 | 250,83 || 10,9♯| 295,3  |  44,8  |
  | C    | 135  |   16  | 446 ||100000 | 240,00 || 22,4 |   4,0  | 147,0  |

Nothing in the above tables will need explanation, except the
anomalous sharp beats of the 3ds, in the last column. These are
derived from the perfect ratio 6 : 7, because these 3ds are, in
reality, much nearer to the ratio of 6 : 7 than to that of 5 : 6;
and hence could their beats be counted, they would be those of
the table, and not those which would be derived from considering
these 3ds as having flat temperaments of the ratio 5 : 6. But
although the beats are slower, the nearer they approach the ratio
6 : 7, this ought not to be regarded as any sufficient reason
for admitting so large temperaments into the scale, were it not
absolutely necessary, in order to accommodate those 3ds which are
of far more frequent occurrence. Although the beats of these 3ds
grow slower as their temperaments are increased, yet they are
losing their character in melody; and become, in this respect, more
and more offensive, the more they are tempered. Hence the harmony
and melody of the several intervals, jointly considered, are to
be judged of rather from their temperaments, in the three first
columns, than from their beats, in the three last.

_Scholium_ 1.

It will be perceived, from a comparison of the temperaments in
Table XII. with the corresponding numbers in Table IX., that the
harshness of the several concords, especially of the IIIds and 3ds,
is, in general, nearly in the inverse ratio of their frequency. The
contending claims of the different concords render it impossible
that this ratio should hold exactly. Including the Vths, the
harmony of the concords is much more nearly _equal_, than the
principle of rendering the temperament of each inversely as its
frequency, could it be carried into complete effect, would require.

_Scholium_ 2.

The foregoing system may be put in practice, on the organ, by
making the Vths beat flat, with the exception of those on C♯,
E♭, and G♯, which must beat sharp, at the rate required in the
table; proving the correctness of the temperaments of the Vths, by
comparing the beats of the IIIds, as they rise, with those required
by column two. Should less accuracy be required, the IIIds on C,
D, and A, might be made perfect, without producing any essential
change in the system. This would reduce the labour of counting the
beats to eight degrees only.

_Scholium_ 3.

To show that the computations of the different frequency of
occurrence of the different concords, on which this system of
temperament is founded, may be relied on as practically correct,
for music in general, it may be proper to state, that a similar
series of calculations had been before made, from an enumeration
of the concords in fifty scores of music entirely different from
that made use of in Prop. IV. They were not, indeed, made with the
same accuracy, for the music of which the chords were counted, was
too generally of the simpler kind, and the numbers corresponding to
those in the two columns under each concord in Table II., and those
belonging to the major and to the minor signatures, corresponding
to the numbers in Table III., were added, before the products were
taken, instead of keeping the modes distinct, which is necessary
to perfect accuracy. Yet the resulting scheme of temperament was
essentially the same throughout, with the one which has been just
described. It had the same anomalous temperaments, viz. the Vths on
C♯, E♭, and G♯; and the IIId on A; and these anomalies were similar
in degree. The greatest difference between any two corresponding
temperaments, was between those of the 3d on E♭; the first
computation making it only 702, while the last has it 818.


  The aggregate of dissonance, heard in a given time, in the system
  of temperament unfolded in the last Proposition, will be less
  than in either of the systems generally practised.

In order to compare the foregoing system with those which have been
most generally approved, the temperaments of all the concords have
been calculated, in the system of equal semitones; in that of Earl
Stanhope, which has had considerable celebrity; in that of Dr. T.
Young; in that of Mr. Hawkes; in that of Kirnberger, which has been
extensively adopted in Germany; and in that which is described by
Rousseau and D'Alembert as generally practised in France. If these
temperaments be multiplied into the corresponding numbers of Table
IX., agreeably to what was shown under Prop. VIII., and those
products which belong to the several concords of the same name be
added, the sums, after the three right-hand figures are cut off,
will be as follows:


  |  Systems.   | Mean |Young's.|Kirnber-|French.| Stan- |Hawkes'.| New  |
  |             | Temp.|        | ger's. |       |hope's.|        |Scale.|
  |Dissonance of|      |        |        |       |       |        |      |
  | the  { Vths |  309 |   494  |   681  |   561 |   595 |   665  |  810 |
  |      { IIIds| 2184 |  1541  |  1397  |  1346 |  1175 |   925  |  530 |
  |      { 3ds  | 2740 |  2448  |  2019  |  2121 |  1992 |  1676  | 1363 |
  |   Total     | 5233 |  4483  |  4097  |  4028 |  3762 |  3266  | 2703 |

From an inspection of the sums at the foot of the table, it will
be seen that the amount of dissonance heard in a given time is
decidedly less in the new scale than in either of the others;
and that it is scarcely more than half as great as in the scale
of equal semitones. On the other hand, the temperament is very
unequally distributed, which must be admitted, cæteris paribus,
to be a disadvantage. It is even somewhat greater than in the
scheme of Mr. Hawkes, although by no means in the same ratio, as
the aggregate dissonance is less. It contains one Vth, which will
be somewhat harsh, and four IIIds and three 3ds, which will be
quite harsh. But these, as will appear from an inspection of Table
IX., are, of all others, of by far the most unfrequent occurrence;
so that the unpleasant effect of a transition from a better to a
much worse harmony will be very seldom felt. In the six simplest
keys of the major, and in the three of most frequent occurrence
in the minor mode, they are _never_ heard, except in occasional
modulations; and even then, generally no one, and rarely more than
one is heard. Now these nine keys, as will appear from Table III.,
comprise more than five times as much of the music examined as all
the rest. The same remarks might be extended to three other minor
keys, were it not that the sharp seventh is so generally used, that
it deserves to be considered as an essential note of the key.

But there are two important considerations, more than
counterbalancing the objection to this system, derived from the
greater inequality in the distribution of its temperaments,
which have not been hitherto noticed, as not being susceptible of
mathematical computation.

1st. We have gone on the supposition that tunes on the more
difficult keys are as often performed, according to their number,
as those on the simpler keys; and have taken for the measure of
dissonance, in different systems, what would be actually heard, if
the 1600 scores, whose signatures were examined, were all played
in succession, and on the keys to which they are set. But the fact
is, that those pieces which are set to the simpler keys are oftener
played, and with fuller harmony, on account of the greater ease of
execution, than those in which many of the short finger keys must
be used.

2d. Pieces on the more difficult keys are often played on the
adjacent easier keys, but the contrary is seldom or never done.

Giving to these two considerations no more than a reasonable
weight, they will counterbalance the objection, and will render it
evident that the sums under the several systems in the table may be
taken as a true exhibition of their respective merits, without any
injustice to the more equal systems at the left-hand of the table.

_Cor._ We may hence draw a comparison between the systems in common
use. Their merits, when every consideration is taken into view, are
nearly in the inverse ratio of the sums denoting their aggregate
dissonance. That of Mr. Hawkes is the best, and, in many respects,
has a remarkable analogy to the one derived from the preceding

_Cor._ 2. As the aggregate dissonance of the changeable scale is
calculated on the same principles, in Prop. VIII., as that of the
Douzeave in this, a comparison of the results in Table VIII. with
those in Table XIII., will furnish us with the relative dissonance
of different systems for these different scales. The relative
dissonance of the two systems which form the object of this essay,
is nearly as 17 : 27. Hence it appears, that by inserting eight
new sounds between those of the common octave, the harshness of
the music executed, at a medium of all the keys, may be diminished
by more than one third of the whole, while the transition from a
better to a worse harmony will never be perceived.

ART. XXII. _Notice of Colonel Trumbull's Picture of the Declaration
of Independence._

It is proper that some mention of this great national work should
be made, in publications less transient than newspapers; and as the
fine arts are included within the design of this Journal, it may
with propriety be noticed here. This is the greatest work which the
art of painting has ever produced in the United States. The picture
is magnificent both in size and in execution. The dimensions of the
canvass are eighteen feet by twelve.

"This picture forms one of a series long since meditated by Mr.
Trumbull, in which it was intended to represent the most important
events, civil and military, of the American revolution, with
portraits of the most distinguished actors in the various scenes.
The materials for this purpose were collected many years ago, and
two plates have been engraved from paintings of the deaths of Gen.
Warren and Gen. Montgomery;[27] but the work was suspended, in
consequence of the political convulsions, which, during twenty-five
years, were so fatal to the arts of peace.

"The government of the United States have ordered four of the
subjects originally proposed by Mr. Trumbull, to be painted by him,
and to be deposited in the capitol.

"No event in human history ever shed a more salutary influence
over the destinies of so great a mass of mankind: the wisdom of no
political act was ever so soon and so powerfully demonstrated, by
such magnificent consequences. And justly may the nation be proud
of the act itself; and of those eminent men, its authors, whose
patriotism (rising above enthusiasm, and the passions which have
so often bewildered mankind) was calm, dignified, persevering, and
always under the guidance of reason and virtue.

"The painting represents the congress at the moment when the
committee advance to the table of the president to make their

"It contains faithful portraits of all those members who were
living when the picture was begun, and of all others of whom any
authentic representation could be obtained. Of a small number, no
trace could be discovered; and nothing was admitted which was not

This picture is now, by permission of government, exhibited in the
Academy of Arts in New-York, and will probably be shown in some of
our other principal cities, before it receives its final location
at Washington.

It exhibits the interior of the then Congress Hall at Philadelphia.
Most of the members are represented as sitting in their respective
chairs, or, in various instances, as standing in different parts of
the room. Almost all the portraits were taken by Colonel Trumbull
_from the living men_, and their accuracy may therefore be relied

The president, John Hancock, sitting at a table, and elevated
somewhat by a low platform, is receiving the report of the
committee declaring the independence of the colonies; that
committee, individually illustrious, and in this august transaction
collectively memorable, was composed of Franklin, Adams, Sherman,
Jefferson, and Livingston. Mr. Jefferson, in the prime of life, is
in the act of laying upon the table the great charter of a nation's
liberties; while his companions support him by their silent but
dignified presence, and the venerable Franklin, in particular,
imposes new obligations on his country's gratitude.

The figures are as large as the life; and it may safely be said,
that the world never beheld, on a similar occasion, a more noble
assemblage. It was the native and unchartered nobility of great
talent, cultivated intelligence, superior manners, high moral aim,
and devoted patriotism. The crisis demanded the utmost firmness of
which the human mind is capable--a firmness not produced, for the
moment, by passion and enthusiasm, but resting on the most able
comprehension of both duties and dangers, and on a _principled_
determination to combat the one and to fulfil the other.

This moral effect has been produced in the fullest and finest
manner by this great painter; and no true American can contemplate
this picture without gratitude to the men who, under God, asserted
his liberties, and to the artist who has commemorated the event,
and transmitted the very features and persons of the actors to
posterity. Such efforts of the pencil tend powerfully also to
invigorate patriotism, and to prompt the rising generation to
emulate such glorious examples.

The composition and execution in this picture are in a masterly
style. The grouping of so many full length portraits, in a scene
in which there could scarcely be any action, and in such a manner
as to dispose of them without monotony, was an attainment of no
small difficulty. The painter could not even avail himself of
the adventitious relief of splendid costume and furniture, and
of magnificence or rich decorations in architecture; for on this
occasion both were characterized by an elegant simplicity only,
such however as became the actors and the crisis.

The composition has all the variety of which it is susceptible; and
there is also enough of it in the style of dress and of features to
relieve the eye from any danger of satiety.

It is believed, that in this picture, the United States possess
a treasure to which there is no parallel in the world. In no
instance, within our knowledge, is there an exhibition to an
equal extent, of the actual portraits of an illustrious assembly,
concerned in so momentous a transaction.

It was a great thing to assert, _in principle_, the liberties of
this country; but it was also a great thing to vindicate them by
arms; and we rejoice that Colonel Trumbull is still to proceed,
under the sanction of government, to delineate other scenes, in
which Washington and his illustrious American coadjutors, and the
flower of French chivalry, were the actors. In the maturity of his
experience, skill, and fame--possessed, as he is, of the portraits
of most of the great men of that period, taken principally from the
life, and having been himself largely and personally conversant
with them in their great deeds, we trust that the government will
promptly second what we doubt not the united voice of the nation
will demand--that the illustrious artist should dedicate the
evening of his life to his country's honour and glory.


ART. XXIII. _An Address to the People of the Western Country._

A number of the citizens of Cincinnati have recently instituted
a society for the collection, preservation, exhibition, and
illustration of natural and artificial curiosities, particularly
those of the _western country_. The first efforts of the managers
will be directed to the establishment of a permanent museum, on
a scale so comprehensive as to receive specimens of every thing
curious which they may be able to procure. In attempting to form
this repository, they must of course solicit the aid of their
fellow-citizens in all quarters of the extensive region, whose
ancient works and natural history they propose to illustrate. The
following are the classes of objects that will especially attract
their attention, and to which they are desirous, at an early
period, of directing the views of the community:

1. Our metals and minerals generally, including petrifactions.

2. Our indigenous animals, embracing the remains of those which are
now extinct.

3. The relics of the unknown people who constructed the ancient
works of the western country.

4. The various articles manufactured, for ornament or use, by the
present savage tribes.

The subjects of the first class are considered by the Society
as extremely interesting. Every citizen of the western country
must _feel_ the necessity of a speedy developement of its mineral
resources. To find beneath our own soil an adequate supply of the
various minerals which are now imported at an enormous expense,
must be regarded by all as a matter of the first and greatest
importance. The managers are anxious to be instrumental in the
advancement of this useful work, and earnestly solicit the
co-operation of the public. They will be thankful for specimens of
all the rare or curious minerals that may be discovered in this
country. To every specimen that may be transmitted, a label should
be attached, stating either the kind of rock or stratum to which
it belonged, or its precise locality. Whenever it is required, the
managers will have a part of any specimen which is sent to them,
analyzed, and a correct report made of its nature, thus affording
to the discoverer a full opportunity of availing himself of all the
pecuniary advantages that may attend the discovery.

As objects of scientific interest, the managers intend, as early as
possible, to commence the formation of a cabinet of petrifactions.
The rocks of few other countries contain a greater number and
variety of these animal remains of the ancient ocean, than the
limestone districts of the Ohio and Mississippi. They both astonish
and confound most of the travellers through this region; and
although objects of familiar examination to ourselves, they have
not been collected or described by our citizens. An extensive and
well arranged cabinet of these extraneous fossils would afford,
both to the zoologist and geologist, an exquisite feast. It is
hoped that every specimen sent to the Society will be accompanied
by a label, stating the place where it was found.

It is the wish of the Society to obtain and preserve specimens
of all the native animals of this country. Most of the larger
quadrupeds having receded before the unceasing extension of our
settlements, are now so rare as to be unknown to all but our
oldest emigrants. Measures will be taken by the managers to procure
from the general retreat in the northwest, and exhibit to the
people in the Ohio countries, a specimen of every quadruped which
lately inhabited them; and while engaged in this enterprise, they
hope to import from the same distant wilderness, a variety of the
animals which are peculiar to it.

Our native birds have not retreated, like our quadrupeds, and are,
therefore, within our reach. The managers hope to see the Society,
in due time, in possession of a large collection of these beautiful
animals. In the accomplishment of this undertaking, it is easy to
perceive that the Society may be powerfully aided by the community:
and a sanguine hope is entertained, that no backwardness or
indifference will be manifested by those who may fortunately have
it in their power to forward specimens.

In collecting the fishes and reptiles of the Ohio, the Mississippi,
and the Lakes, the managers will likewise need all the aid which
their fellow-citizens may feel disposed to give them. Although not
a very interesting department of zoology, no object of the Society
offers so great a prospect of novelty as that which embraces these
animals. The managers, therefore, flatter themselves that they will
not be suffered to proceed unaided in this portion of their labours.

The obscure and neglected race of insects will not be overlooked,
and any specimens sufficiently perfect to be introduced into a
cabinet of entomology, will be thankfully received.

The western country, from having afforded some of the most gigantic
and curious remains of land animals which have yet been discovered,
seems entitled to a museum of such relics. A collection of this
kind will be one of the earliest objects of the Society. Its funds
will be liberally expended for the purpose; and if aided by those
who may be so fortunate as to discover any of the great bones which
lie buried in our alluvial or bottom lands, the managers hope, at
no distant period, to repair, in some degree, the losses which
have been repeatedly sustained by exportation of these interesting

The third class comprises objects of very little utility, but
of extraordinary interest. Nothing, indeed, presented by the
western country seems to excite in a higher degree the curiosity
of strangers, than the relics and vestiges of the extinct and
comparatively civilized population with which it abounds.

The managers will make every possible effort to form an extensive
collection of these remains.

It is extremely unfortunate for those engaged in researches
concerning the objects of this class, that so many of them have
been disseminated abroad. To study them successfully, it is
necessary that they should be compared, and for this purpose they
must be brought together. The managers hope, therefore, that
such persons as now hold, or may hereafter possess any of these
antiquities, will dispose of them to the Society, instead of
sending them out of the country. In this way, and in this only, can
a valuable collection of these unique curiosities be formed.

The remaining class comprehends the weapons, utensils, trinkets,
and other manufactures of our neighbouring Indians, of which the
managers hope, in a short time, to be able to exhibit a great

The curiosities of this country are the primary, but not the
exclusive objects of the Society. It proposes in due time to open a
gallery of paintings, and thus offer to the lovers and cultivators
of the fine arts, a few of those models which are absolutely
necessary to the gratification and improvement of their taste.

The managers will be happy, moreover, to receive from such of
their eastern brethren as are desirous of contributing to the
amelioration and advancement of a new and remote community, any
of the productions of foreign countries that may be calculated to
promote this object; and will, in return, cheerfully exchange any
specimens of the curiosities of this country which they can spare
without injury to their collection.

They will, if required, pay a reasonable price for every article
which may be deemed worthy of introduction into the museum. They
intend to publish, annually, a catalogue of all the more valuable
donations which may be made to the museum, with the names of the

  WILLIAM STEELE, } _Managers_.

_Cincinnati, Sept. 15, 1818._

Caleb Atwater, Esq. of Circleville, Ohio, is engaged in writing
Notes on the State of Ohio, a work which is intended to embrace the
most important features and interests of this new and rising State.

To this laudable effort, and to that of the Western Museum Society,
whose address is published above, we cordially wish success. From
the zeal, talent, and industry of the gentlemen concerned, we have
every reason to expect a happy result.

We view, with much satisfaction, the efforts which have been
already made, and are rapidly increasing, to bring to light the
resources, and to develope the history, of the western States; and
it will always give us pleasure, if through the medium of this
Journal, or in any other manner, we can contribute to promote them.

ART. XXIV. _Extract of a Letter from Colonel Gibbs to the Editor._

  SUNSWICK, June, 1818.


Since I saw you, I have made only one experiment on magnetism. I
determined the power of my magnet, as it had been shut up in the
dark for a long time, and lying down. I then exposed it to the rays
of the sun, also lying down, and remote from the iron support, and
I found that it had gained 12 oz. power in 40 minutes, and 14 oz.
power only in five hours.

ART. XXV. _A New Lamp, without Flame._

From the Annals of Philosophy for March, 1818. Communicated by Mr.

This lamp is one of the results of the new discoveries in
chemistry. It has been found, by Sir H. Davy, that a fine platina
wire, heated red hot, and held in the vapour of ether, would
continue ignited for some time; but, I believe, no practical use
has been made of this fact.

If a cylindrical coil of thin platina wire be placed, part of it
round the cotton wick of a spirit lamp, and part of it above the
wick, and the lamp be lighted, so as to heat the wire to redness;
on the flame being blown out, the vapour of the alcohol will keep
the upper part of the wire _red hot_, for any length of time,
according to the supply of alcohol, and with little expenditure
thereof; so as to be in constant readiness to kindle German
fungus, or paper prepared with nitre, and, by this means, to light
a sulphur match at pleasure. This lamp affords sufficient light
to show the hour of the night by a watch, and to perform many
other useful services; but does not hinder the repose of persons
unaccustomed to keep a light burning in their bed-room, nor does it
require to be snuffed.

The proper size of the platina wire is the 1/100th part of an inch:
a larger one will only yield a dull, red light, and a smaller one
is difficult to use. About 12 turns of the wire will be sufficient,
coiled around any cylindrical body suited to the size of the wick
of the lamp; and four or five coils should be placed on the wick,
and the remainder of the wire above it; and which will be the part
ignited. A wick, composed of twelve threads of the ordinary sized
lamp cotton yarn, with the platina wire coiled around it, will
require about half an ounce of alcohol to keep it alight for eight

An agreeable and slightly acid smell arises from this lamp during
its ignition. It is perfectly safe, as nothing can fall from it;
and its novel appearance, in a wick's keeping red hot for such a
length of time, is very surprising to persons unacquainted with its

P.S.--When the wire has become oxided, it will be necessary to
uncoil it, and rub it bright again with fine glass-paper; which
will cause it to act again with increased effect.


Such wire as is here described may, probably, be obtained in


[17] In using the word "pit," instead of "mine," I have
accommodated my language to the custom of the country.

[18] Since the above article was written we have received some as
large as a finger.

[19] The green earth of most mineralogists. EDITOR.

[20] _Formation_--a geological phrase, of German origin.

[21] Doubtless the pea ore of the Wernerians. EDITOR.

[22] This jet of cold water being let into the cylinder itself,
necessarily cooled it at every stroke; and then it was necessary
to heat it again to the boiling point, before the piston would
reascend, and thus a vast loss of heat occurred. EDITOR.

[23] But it is not necessary (as in the plate) to crowd the engine
into the after-part of the boat, the boilers maybe placed forward,
and near them, or over them, _the cylinder_, &c. The power is
then communicated to the stern-wheel by a long shaft, supported
on, or immediately under, the deck. This arrangement gives room
for loading both behind and before the boilers and engine, and
equalizes the burden. This is the actual arrangement of the
Merrimack boat.

[24] It is found with very high steam that the source of supply
must be above the _chamber_, or a small quantity of cold water
introduced to condense the steam therein.

[25] Taken from the Philosophical Magazine, and by that work from
the Annales de Chimie and de Physique, for January, 1818.

[26] A method of rendering changeable the sound of the same
pipes in the organ, which had occurred to the writer, but which
was not inserted above on account of the supposed difficulty of
making the change sufficient in degree, he has since found to
have been executed by the Rev. H. Liston, who has succeeded, by
means of shaders capable of being brought before the mouths of
his pipes by the action of pedals, in giving them three distinct
sounds each, varying by two commas. (See the description of his
Enharmonic organ, in Rees' Cyc. or Tilloch's Phil. Mag.) His scale
embraces 59 intervals to the octave, and is intended to produce
perfect harmony in all the keys. But as it will require the use of
pedals perpetually, even on the same key, and a ready and perfect
knowledge of small musical intervals, which practical musicians
can seldom possess, there is no probability that it will ever be
extensively adopted. Perhaps, however, four or five sounds, such as
D♯, E♯, A♭, D♭, might be added to the common scale of 12 intervals
by means of his mechanism, with advantage. An instrument thus
furnished would require the use of pedals but seldom, and would
contain chromatic degrees sufficient for the accurate performance
of the great mass of organ music.

[27] These picture, as is well known, represent the assault on
Quebec, and the battle of Bunker's Hill.



  Art. I. Hints on some of the Outlines of Geological
  Arrangement, with  particular Reference to
  the System of Werner, in a letter to the Editor,
  from William Maclure, Esq. dated Paris,
  22d August, 1818                                             209

  Art. II. On the Geology, Mineralogy, Scenery, and
  Curiosities of Parts of Virginia, Tennessee, and
  the Alabama and Mississippi Territories, &c.
  with Miscellaneous Remarks, in a letter to the
  Editor. By the Rev. Elias Cornelius                          214

  Art. III. Notice of the Scenery, Geology, Mineralogy,
  Botany, &c. of Belmont County, Ohio, by
  Caleb Atwater, Esq. of Circleville                           226

  Art. IV. Remarks  on the Structure of the Calton Hill,
  near Edinburgh, Scotland; and on the Aqueous
  Origin of Wacke; by J. W. Webster, M.D. of Boston            230

  Art. V. Localities of Minerals                               236

       1. Localities by the Rev. F. C. Schaeffer             _ibid._

       2. Minerals of Guadaloupe and Porto Rico                237

       3. Molybdena in Shutesbury, Mass.                       238

       ---- Pettipaug, Con.                                    242

       4. Rose Quartz in Southbury, Con.                       238

       Limpid Quartz in West Canada Creek, N. Y.               241

       5. Plumbago in Cornwall, Con.                           239

       6. Coal at Zanesville, Ohio                           _ibid._

       ---- in Muskingum, Ohio                               _ibid._

       ---- in Suffield, Southington, &c. Con.           239 & 240

       7. Mammoth's Tooth, from St. Francis River              239

       8. Shells south of Lake Erie                          _ibid._

       9. Minerals of the Blue Ridge, &c.                    _ibid._

       10. Sulphat of Barytes, Southington, Con.               240

       11. Scintillating Limestone, from Vermont               241

       12. Beryl, in Haddam, &c.                               242

       13. Limpid Gypsum, near Cayuga Lake                     243

       14. Amianthus in the anthracite of Rhode Island       _ibid._

       15. Red Pyroxene Augite, near Baltimore                 244


  Art. VI. A List of Plants found in the neighbourhood
  of Connasarga River, (Cherokee Country) where
  Springplace is situated; made by Mrs. Gambold, at the
  request of the Rev. Elias Cornelius                          245

  Art. VII. Description of a new species of Asclepias.
  By Dr. Eli Ives, Professor, &c. in the Medical
  Institution of Yale College                                  252

  Art. VIII. Description of a New Genus of American
  Grass. Diplocea Barbata, by C. S. Rafinesque, Esq.         _ibid._

  Art. IX. Floral Calendar, &c.                                254


  Art. X. Notes on Herpetology, by Thomas Say, of
  Philadelphia                                                 256


  Art. XI. Outline of a Theory of Meteors. By Wm. G.
  Reynolds, M.D. Middletown Point, New-Jersey                  266

  Art. XII. Observations upon the prevailing Currents of
  Air in the State of Ohio and the Regions of
  the West, by Caleb Atwater, Esq. of Circleville,
  Ohio; in Letters addressed to His Excellency
  De Witt Clinton, LL.D. Governor
  of the State of New-York, and President of
  the Literary and Philosophical Society                       276

  Art. XIII. On a singular Disruption of the Ground,
  apparently by Frost, in Letters from Edward
  Hitchcock, A. M. late Principal of Deerfield Academy         286

  Art. XIV. On a New Form of the Electrical Battery,
  by J. F. Dana, M. D. Chemical Assistant in
  Harvard University, and Lecturer on Chemistry
  and Pharmacy in Dartmouth College                            292

  Art. XV. Chemical Examination of the Berries of the
  Myrica Cerifera, or Wax Myrtle, by J. F.
  Dana, M. D. Chemical Assistant in Harvard
  University,  and Lecturer on Chemistry and
  Pharmacy in Dartmouth College                                294

  Art. XVI. Analysis of Wacke, by Dr. J. W. Webster, of
  Boston                                                       296


  Art. XVII. On the Comparative Quantity of Nutritious
  Matter which may be obtained from an Acre
  of Land when cultivated with Potatoes or
  Wheat, by Dr. Eli Ives, Professor of Materia
  Medica and Botany in Yale College                            297


  Art. XVIII. Biographical Notice of the late Archibald
  Bruce, M. D. Professor of Materia Medica
  and Mineralogy in the Medical Institution of
  the State of New-York, and Queen's College,
  New-Jersey; and Member of various Learned
  Societies in America and Europe                              299


  Art. XIX. 1. Dr. J. W. Webster's Lectures                    304

           2. Dr. Webster's Cabinet                            305

           3. Supposed identity of Copal and Amber             306

           4. The Necronite.--(A supposed new mineral.)      _ibid._

           5. Preservation of dead Bodies                      307

           6. Matches kindling without fire                    308

           7. Cleaveland's Mineralogy                        _ibid._

           8. A new Alkali                                     309

           9. Ignited Platinum Wire                          _ibid._

           10. Red Rain                                      _ibid._

           11. Gnephalium                                      310

           12. Augite                                        _ibid._

           13. A New Vegetable Alkali                        _ibid._

           14. New Minerals                                  _ibid._

           15. New Metal                                     _ibid._

           16. Pure Alumine                                  _ibid._

           17. Collections of American Minerals              _ibid._

           18. C. S. Rafinesque, Esq.                         311

           19. Medical College of Ohio                      _ibid._

           20. Notes on Ohio                                _ibid._

           21. Discovery of American Tungsten and Tellurium   312

           22. Mr. Sheldon's application of Chesnut Wood
           to the arts of Tanning and dying                 _ibid._

           23. Additional note concerning the Tungsten and
           Tellurium                                          316





ART. I. _Hints on some of the Outlines of Geological Arrangement,
with particular Reference to the System of Werner, in a letter to
the Editor, from_ WILLIAM MACLURE, _Esq. dated Paris, 22d August,


Some years since, during Mr. Maclure's geological survey of the
United States, the editor had the pleasure of passing a few days,
in company with that gentleman, in exploring the geology of the
vicinity of New-Haven. Near that town, junctions, on an extensive
scale, between widely different formations, are to be observed. A
radius of ten miles, with New-Haven for a centre, will describe
a circle within which the geological student may find (with the
exception of formations, unquestionably volcanic) most of the
important rocks of the globe, and a radius of even six or seven
miles will include the greater number of these. At, and near the
terminations of the primitive ranges, there are rocks which appear
to have, in a high degree, the characters of the transition class.
Among them is the beautiful green marble of the Milford Hills,
seven miles from New-Haven. Mr. Maclure visited that district, and
even suggested the first hint which afterward led to the discovery
of the marble. Doubts being entertained concerning some of the
geological relations of those rocks, a letter was addressed to
Mr. Maclure (then in Philadelphia) on the subject. His answer is

In giving it to the public, the editor takes a liberty which he
hopes the respectable author will pardon, because his production,
although evidently never intended for the public eye, contains
statements and opinions of no small importance to the young
geologist, especially of this country.

Geology, at the present day, means not a merely theoretical and
usually a visionary and baseless speculation, concerning the
origin of the globe; but, on the contrary, the _result of actual
examination into the nature, structure, and arrangement of the
materials of which it is composed_. It is therefore obvious,
that the opinions of those men, who, with competent talent and
science, have, with a direct reference to this subject, explored
many countries, and visited different continents, are entitled to
pre-eminent respect. SAUSSURE, by his scientific journeys among the
Alps, (although a limited district) has given deserved celebrity to
his own name, and, if it were possible, has thrown an additional
charm of attraction over those romantic and sublime regions.
Dolomieu has made us familiar with the productions and phenomena of
volcanoes, those awful and mysterious laboratories of subterranean
fire. Humboldt has surveyed the sublimest peaks of both continents,
and examined the structure of the globe amidst the valleys of
Mexico and the snows of Chimborazo and Pinchinca; and Werner, with
opportunities much more limited, (confined indeed to his native
country, Saxony) but with astonishing sagacity and perseverance,
deduced from what he saw, a classification of the rocks of our
globe, which, although not perfect, has done immense service to the
science of Geology. In this distinguished group (to which other
important names might be added) Mr. Maclure has unquestionably a
right to be placed. Few men have seen so much of the structure of
our globe, and few have done so much with such small pretensions.
His work on American Geology is noticed with becoming respect even
in Edinburgh,[28] that focus of geological science. His opinions
on some of the more obscure and doubtful parts of the Wernerian
geology are worthy of peculiar consideration; for they are founded
on a course of observations vastly more extensive than Werner ever
had it in his power to make. The name of Werner will always be
venerated as long as geological science shall be cultivated, for
geology owes more to him than to any other man; but his pupils
should not now demand that implicit and unqualified adoption of ALL
his opinions, which will allow no other question to be raised, than
what Werner taught or believed.

With these explanatory remarks, the following extract of Mr.
Maclure's letter is now subjoined:


Your letter of the 26th June came just as I was embarking for
Europe. The information it requires concerning the primitive trap
and flint slate, the transition and secondary rocks, &c. &c. is
difficult to give without the aid of specimens, and frequently
requires the examination of the relative position of the strata
before any correct idea can be formed. I will, however, endeavour
to give you the little my experience has brought me acquainted with.

Following the nomenclature of Werner, I have given a list of his
rocks; but in describing them there are many of his names which I
do not use; because I never met with them. Primitive trap is one
instance--I do not use trap as a substantive, except in describing
that kind of trap which Werner calls the newest flætz trap, the
nearest to which is your trap,[29] which covers the oldest red

The primitive flint slate is in the same predicament. I have always
found it on the borders of the transition, between it and the

Primitive gypsum I have not found.

What Werner calls primitive trap may perhaps be compact
hornblende, or perhaps the newest flætz trap, when it happens to
cover the primitive; for, this species of trap, like the currents
of lava, covers indiscriminately all classes of rocks, and is one
reason why I consider it as the remains of ancient lava.

Transition trap is a rock that I have not met with, and may
perhaps be a part of the flætz trap that happened to cover the
transition, without any immediate connexion, but like a current
of lava, overlying all the classes of rocks it meets with. This
misapplication of names naturally arises from the system of
neptunian origin, on which the nomenclature of Werner is founded.

Greywake and greywake slate are aggregates of rounded particles
of rocks, evidently the detritus of more ancient formations,
and differ from the aggregates of pudding and sandstone of the
secondary class, in the following properties, viz.

The aggregates of transition are harder and much more compact, than
the secondary; they are also cemented by argil, taking a slaty form.

This cement is in much greater quantity, in proportion to the
particles cemented, and has the appearance as if the cement at the
time of formation, had a consistence sufficient to prevent the
particles from touching each other.

They have, in common with all the transition rocks, a regular and
uniform dip from the horizon, from 10 to 40 degrees; and sometimes
more. This is perhaps the strongest mark of distinction which
separates them from the secondary, which are horizontal, or follow
the inequalities of the surface on which they were deposited.

The transition are distinguished from the primitive in
being aggregates of rounded particles, having little or no
crystallization, and containing, or alternating with strata, which
contain organic matter.

The oldest red sandstone, with all its accompanying strata, I
should incline to put into the transition, as having many of
the properties of that class, and occupying the same relative
situation in the stratification of the globe. It is at a constant
dip (although small) from the horizon; the cement is in greater
quantities in proportion to the particles cemented than in any of
the secondary aggregates, &c. &c.

The character of the secondary is a horizontal position, that
perhaps does not admit of the same facility of examining the
relative situation of its stratification. The compact limestone
is, probably, with reason, considered as the lowest of the
secondary formation, and always under the coal formation, but it
appears to me that the secondary is deposited in basins alongside
of one another, and that each basin has a different order of
superposition, according to the nature of the agents employed in
the deposition; that it is a partial, and by no means a general
deposition. The secondary aggregates of sandstone and puddings
have been evidently beds of sand or gravel, and of course, in that
state would be called alluvial, but when cemented together by the
infiltration of water, carrying along with it lime, iron, or any
other body capable of agglutinating the particles together, become
rocks, and may alternate in all proportions.

I am therefore inclined to think, that in geology the best mode for
the greatest part of the secondary would be to give the relative
position of the strata of each valley or basin; and I am rather of
opinion that they would all differ from one another.

The French and English basin having chalk for the lowest stratum,
which has occupied the geologists of both countries for these 10
or 15 years, is perhaps the best known; yet they do not know the
relative position of the chalk and coals, because coals have not
been found in the same basin with chalk: coals occupy basins filled
with different kinds of rocks, and have no resemblance to the rocks
found covering the chalk.

ART. II. _On the Geology, Mineralogy, Scenery, and Curiosities
of Parts of Virginia, Tennessee, and the Alabama and Mississippi
Territories, &c. with Miscellaneous Remarks, in a letter to the

  _To Benjamin Silliman, Professor, &c._


Having recently returned from a tour of considerable extent in the
United States, I avail myself with pleasure of the first leisure
moment, to communicate, agreeably to your request, some facts,
relative to the Mineralogy and Geology of that part of the country
through which I passed.


Before doing this, you will permit me to premise, that in
consequence of my limited acquaintance with these branches of
Natural Science, and the still more limited time, which other and
important concerns allowed me to devote to the subject, I can do
little more than give a general description. What my eye could
catch, as I travelled from one country and wilderness to another,
preserving occasionally a few of the most interesting specimens,
was all I could do. The specimens you have received. The narrative
I am about to give, is drawn principally from the notes which were
taken on the journey, and will be confined to a simple _statement
of such facts_ as were either observed by myself, or derived from
good authority. Their application to preconceived theories, I leave
to those who have more leisure and disposition for speculation than

A description of a few natural and artificial curiosities which
came under particular notice, will not, I trust, be thought an
improper digression. The whole is committed to your disposal; and
if it shall add but one mite to the treasury of American Natural
History, I shall be gratified, and rejoice to have made even this
small remuneration for your unwearied efforts, to impart to one,
formerly your pupil, a love for Natural Science.

_The Author's Route._

My route was in a line nearly direct from Boston to New-Orleans;
passing through the principal cities to Washington; thence,
diagonally, through Virginia, East Tennessee, and the northwestern
angle of Georgia; in a western course through the north division
of the Territory of Alabama, to the northeastern boundary of the
State of Mississippi; and thence in a line nearly southwest to
Natchez. From this last place I descended the river Mississippi to
New-Orleans. On my return I frequently varied from this course,
and had increased opportunities for surveying the country. In both
instances I passed through the countries belonging to the Cherokee,
Chickesaw, and Choctaw tribes of Indians, and travelled among them,
in all, about one thousand miles.

_Geology of Virginia._

As others have described more minutely and accurately than I can,
the country north of Virginia, I shall begin with a few remarks
on the geological character of that State. It is there that the
traveller, in passing from the Atlantic to the interior, crosses
successively the most important formations of the earth, from the
most recent alluvial to the oldest primitive. For a considerable
distance from the coast, the country is alluvial. It then assumes
an older secondary formation[30]--and sandstone and puddingstone
are frequent. This is the character of the District of Columbia,
and indeed of a great part of the valley of the Potomac.

_Sandstone of the Capitol, &c._

In this valley, and adjacent to the river, is found the _sandstone_
of which the President's house, and the Capitol are constructed.
It is composed of fine silicious grains, is easily wrought, and
from its colour, has the appearance at a small distance of white

_Beautiful Breccia._

It is also in the valley of this river, and not far from its
famous passage through the Blue Ridge, that immense quarries of
beautiful Breccia have been opened. This rock was first brought
into use by Mr. Latrobe, for some years employed by the government
as principal architect. It is composed of pebbles, and fragments
of silicious and calcareous stones of almost every size, from
a grain, to several inches in diameter, strongly and perfectly
cemented. Some are angular, others rounded. Their colours are very
various, and often bright. Red, white, brown, gray, and green,
are alternately conspicuous, with every intermediate shade. Owing
to the silicious stones which are frequently imbedded through the
mass, it is wrought with much difficulty; but when finished, shows
a fine polish, and is unquestionably one of the most beautifully
variegated marbles, that ever ornamented any place. It would be
difficult to conceive of any thing more grand than the hall of
the Representatives, in the Capitol, supported as it is by twenty
or thirty pillars formed of the solid rock, and placed in an
amphitheatrical range; each pillar about three feet in diameter,
and twenty in height. Some idea of the labour which is employed in
working the marble may be formed from the fact, that the expense of
each pillar is estimated at five thousand dollars. The specimens in
your possession, are good examples of its general structure, but
convey no adequate idea of its beauty.

_Petrifaction of Wood._

It will be proper to notice in this place, a petrifaction of wood
which is found on the road from Washington to Fredericksburgh, 16
miles from the latter, and four miles north of the court-house in
Stafford county. It is remarkable for its size, rather than for
any singularity in the composition. It was found by digging away
the earth on the side of the road, and appears to have been the
trunk of a considerable tree. It is firmly fixed in the ground,
and penetrates it obliquely; how far has not yet been ascertained.
At the time I saw it about two feet had been exposed. The diameter
is about eight inches. Its colour is white, sometimes resembling
that of wood. The fibres are well preserved, and so is the general
structure. It is much to be desired, that some one would clear
it from its bed, and give it entire to one of our mineralogical

_Geological Features._

Next to the alluvial and secondary formations, as you pass to the
west and northwest, are to be found ranges of granite and shistose,
and other primitive rocks; interspersed with these may be seen
sandstone, clay, slate, quartz, and limestone. Granite ranges
were particularly seen in the neighbourhood of Fredericksburgh,
crossing the Rappahannock; and in Orange and Albemarle counties,
extending nearly to the Blue Ridge. Great quantities of quartz and
quartz rock, sometimes covering with their fragments the sides of
hills, are frequent. Another, and more interesting rock in the same
connexion, is found in Albemarle county. For some time I doubted
to what class to refer it. But from its resemblance to the rocks
of the east and west mountains near New-Haven, I ventured to call
it trap or whinstone. It becomes more abundant as you approach the
Blue Ridge, and the granite disappears. On the sides and summit of
the mountain, its appearance is more decidedly that of greenstone.
In crossing the southwest mountain, the range to which Monticello
belongs, and distant from the Blue Ridge about 25 miles, I observed
the same rock. Whether this opinion is just, you will be able to
decide from the specimens which have been forwarded.

_Blue Ridge._

I have repeatedly named the Blue Ridge. It is the first of those
long and parallel ranges of mountains, called the Alleghany; and
constitutes one of the most prominent features in the geology of
the United States. Its height I cannot determine with accuracy.
Probably it would not average more than one thousand feet. Its base
may extend in diameter from one to two miles; and yet such is the
influence it has on the climate, that vegetation on the eastern,
is usually two weeks earlier than on the western side. And what
is remarkable, this difference obtains, on the former side at
least, until you arrive within a few hundred yards of the summit.
I crossed the mountain in two places, distant from each other one
hundred miles, but observed nothing essentially different in their
mineralogy. At one of them called the _Rockfish-Gap_, on the road
from Charlotteville to Staunton, I spent a few hours, and brought
away specimens of all the varieties of minerals which I could find.
These have been submitted to your inspection. Among them, you will,
I think, see greenstone, epidote, and slate more or less allied
to the first. These are the most common rocks, and excepting the
second, are usually stratified. The epidote is generally associated
with quartz, and sometimes is imbedded in it. In some instances
it has a porphyritic appearance, and is very beautiful. In
others, it is coated with small filaments of a greenish asbestos.
Other minerals were found, whose nature I could not so easily
determine. I regret exceedingly, that I cannot furnish you with a
more complete description of this interesting mountain. That its
character is peculiar, or different from the country on either
side of it, must be obvious to the most superficial observer.
Its principal rock does indeed bear a resemblance to the trap or
whinstone of Albemarle county, and yet I think you will say it
is not the same. One fact of importance cannot be mistaken; this
mountain constitutes the great dividing line between the granite
and limestone countries. For you no sooner reach its western base,
than the greenstone and epidote disappear; and _limestone_ pervades
the country for hundreds of miles in every direction. In all the
distance from this mountain to New-Orleans, I did not find a single
specimen of granite, or greenstone. This may appear singular, since
Mr. Maclure and Professor Cleaveland have a granite range on their
maps, immediately west of the Blue Ridge; and even that mountain
is on those maps, in some parts of it, covered with the granitic
tinge. This may be true. I can answer for only two points of it,
and for that part of the country beyond, lying near the main road
to Tennessee. In this route I descended almost the whole length
of the great valley included between the Blue Ridge on the east,
and the north mountain on the west. But in no instance did I meet
with specimens of granite; nor west of the Blue Ridge with any
prevailing rock but limestone. I know of no reason why the Blue
Ridge should not be regarded as the first great dividing line
between the granite and limestone countries. The change in the
geological formation is so sudden and striking, that it would be
difficult for the most careless traveller with his eyes open, not
to observe it. The face of nature, he cannot but perceive, wears a
different aspect; the air is more cool and lively; even the water
which he drinks possesses new properties perceptible to his taste.
The inhabitants no longer speak of their "sandstone water;" but
every where he hears of "limestone water." Indeed for 800 miles in
the direction which I travelled, he tastes no other water. Every
spring and every rivulet, is strongly impregnated with carbonate of
lime. The vessels in which it is prepared for culinary use, soon
become lined with a white calcareous crust. Nor is its taste the
only inconvenience experienced by the traveller unaccustomed to it.
It often injures the health of a stranger, and covers the surface
of the body with cutaneous eruptions.

_Limestone country in inclined Strata._

The geological observer has now entered upon a very interesting
field. Its great extent, and its wonderful uniformity, give new
facilities to investigation. Two divisions of it seem to have been
made in nature.

The _first_ is that which includes the limestone lying in INCLINED
STRATA. This division extends from the Blue Ridge, to the
Cumberland mountain in East Tennessee, a distance in the direction
of my route of 500 miles. Of course it includes all the ranges,
five in number, of the Alleghany mountains. The strata lie in a
course northeast and southwest, the same as the general course of
the mountains. The angle which they make with the horizon is very
variable, from 25° to 45°. The colour of the rock varies from blue,
and pale blue, to gray, or grayish white, frequently it presents a
dull earthy appearance. The fracture is more or less conchoidal.
Sometimes the rock assumes a different character, and the fracture
is _uneven_, and the texture firm. This last is distinguished from
the former, not only by the fracture, but by the colour. It is
usually spoken of by the inhabitants as the _gray limestone_, the
colour of the other being usually of a bluish cast. It differs
from that also by being less brittle, and possessing the quality
denominated by stonecutters, "_tough_." In consequence of this, and
its enduring heat better, it is more frequently used in building
than the other. This variety of limestone is not uncommon. Its
colour is not always _gray_, sometimes it is a reddish brown,
and sometimes white. Immense quantities of it, possessing either
a grayish or reddish brown colour, are found in the vicinity of
Knoxville, East Tennessee. One range of it is crossed by every
road, passing to the south and east of Knoxville. Its appearance is
that of some variegated marbles; white veins penetrate it, and wind
through it in every direction. Whether any part of it has a texture
sufficiently fine and firm to be wrought to advantage, is yet to be
determined. To the eye of a superficial observer, there are many
indications that it has. A specimen of very fine white marble,
resembling the Italian white, was shown me in Augusta county,
Virginia, which was found 15 miles from Staunton, where there is
said to be a considerable quantity of it.

_Limestone country in Horizontal Strata._

The _second_ great division of the limestone country extends, on
the route which I took, two hundred miles from the Cumberland
mountain, and others associated with it southwest, as far as
the Dividing Ridge, which separates the waters flowing into the
Tennessee from those which proceed direct to the gulf of Mexico.
The grand circumstance which distinguishes the limestone of
this division from that already described, is this, ITS STRATA
ARE HORIZONTAL. Frequently immense piles may be seen forming
bold precipices, but _always_ in horizontal layers, differing in
thickness, from a few inches to many feet. How far this arrangement
extends to the west and north, I have not yet been able to learn.
Travellers always speak of the limestone rocks in West Tennessee
and Kentucky as _flat_, from which circumstance I conclude that the
Cumberland mountain forms for a considerable distance at least,
the eastern boundary. I have observed but three other particulars
in which the strata of the _horizontal_ differ from those of the
_inclined_ limestone.

1. Its colour is not so strongly marked with the bluish tinge.

2. It is not so commonly penetrated with white veins of a
semicrystallized carbonate of lime; nor is it so frequently
associated with the _uneven_ fractured species.

3. Petrifactions are oftener found in it.

I will here take the liberty to suggest, whether in our maps of
geology, some notice should not be taken of this very important
division in the limestone country. Such a division exists _in
fact_; nature has made it; and if geology depends on nature for its
only legitimate inductions, there can be no reason why a feature
so prominent as this, should be overlooked. I shall not undertake
to account for their difference: but would not every geological
theorist consider them as distinct formations?[31]

_Cumberland Mountain._

The Cumberland mountain, which forms a part of this dividing line,
is itself a singular formation. It belongs to the class called
"Table mountains." Its width varies from a few miles, to more
than fifty. Its height is not perceptibly different from that of
the Blue Ridge. It forms a circuit, in a shape somewhat resembling
a half moon. Winding to the southwest, it keeps a course north
of the Tennessee river, in some places nearly parallel with it;
passes a few miles to the southeast of Huntsville in the Alabama
Territory, and not long after terminates. At one part, over which
I crossed, the mountain is eighteen miles wide. This is about 150
miles southwest of Knoxville, a little north of the 35th degree of
N. Lat. I had not ascended the mountain more than halfway, before
I found sandstone begin to intermingle with limestone strata. As
I drew near the summit, the limestone disappeared entirely, and
sandstone prevailed in abundance, with no other mineral associated
until I reached the western descent, where I met bold precipices
of horizontal limestone, reaching from the base to the summit. I
examined several sandstone rocks while crossing the mountain, found
them usually imbedded in the earth, generally with flat surfaces,
of a fine grain, and strong texture. The colour is usually a
reddish brown, or grayish red. The specimen which you have received
is a good example. I crossed this mountain in the vicinity of
Huntsville, not less than one hundred miles southwest of the place
above-mentioned, and found it not wider than mountains commonly
are. Its height had also become less, and horizontal limestone in
regular strata prevailed in every part.

Although this mountain forms a part of the dividing line which
has been mentioned, it does not exclusively so: for the Rackoon
mountain, which crosses the Tennessee river, at the place so well
known by the name of "the Suck," and the Look-Out mountain, which
terminates abruptly about 6 miles to the left of "the Suck," form
an acute angle with the Cumberland, and are composed of horizontal
strata of limestone. Thus it would appear the line which divides
the two kingdoms of this rock, is nearly north and south, inclining
perhaps a few points to the east and west.


And here I cannot forbear pausing a moment to call your attention
to the grand and picturesque scenery which opens to the view of
the admiring spectator. The country is still possessed by the
aborigines, and the hand of civilization has done but little to
soften the wild aspect of nature. The Tennessee River, having
concentrated into one mass, the numerous streams it has received
in its course of three or four hundred miles, glides through an
extended valley with a rapid and overwhelming current, half a
mile in width. At this place, a group of mountains stand ready to
dispute its progress. First, the "Look-Out," an independent range,
commencing thirty miles below, presents, opposite the River's
course, its bold and rocky termination of two thousand feet. Around
its brow is a pallisade of naked rocks, from seventy to one hundred
feet. The River flows upon its base, and instantly twines to the
right. Passing on for six miles further it turns again, and is met
by the side of the Rackoon mountain. Collecting its strength into
a channel of seventy yards, it severs the mountain, and rushes
tumultuously through the rocky defile, wafting the trembling
navigator at the rate of a mile in two or three minutes. This
passage is called "The Suck." The summit of the Look-Out mountain
overlooks the whole country. And to those who can be delighted with
the view of an interminable forest, penetrated by the windings of
a bold river, interspersed with hundreds of verdant prairies, and
broken by many ridges and mountains, furnishes in the month of
May, a landscape, which yields to few others in extent, variety or
beauty. Even the aborigines have not been insensible to its charms;
for in the name which they have given to the Look-Out mountain we
have a laconic, but very striking description of the scenery. This
name in the Cherokee language, without the aspirated sounds, is
"O-tullēē-ton-tannâ-tâ-kunnâ-ēē;" literally, "mountains looking at
each other."

I have already remarked that the limestone of this mountain lies
in horizontal strata: one mile east from its base it is inclined.
Like the Cumberland, it contains immense rocks of sandstone, but
of a coarser grain, verging occasionally into pudding stone.
I was told by a white man, a professed millwright, that among
these sandstone rocks, he knew of many which were suitable for
millstones. At the missionary establishment, called "Brainerd,"
eight miles east of the mountain, I saw one of them which was used
for this purpose to much advantage. It is composed of fine and
large grains of silicious stones, nearly white, and resembling
pebbles of white quartz: the texture is firm.

_Silicious Minerals, &c._

I will now notice an important fact, applicable to the whole extent
of limestone country, which has come under my observation. It is
its association with a description of minerals, all of which appear
to be _silicious_. To describe them minutely, would require several
pages. From the time I entered the limestone country till I left it
this association was observed. The minerals included in it differ
much in their external character. Their size varies from that of
rocks to the smallest fragments. Usually they lie loose upon the
earth, in angular forms, having the appearance of a stone that has
been broken in pieces by the hammer. Sometimes they cover the sides
of hills and mountains in such abundance as to prevent or impede
vegetation. When the disintegration is minute, they are serviceable
rather than otherwise; and the farmer talks of his "good black,"
or "white gravel land." It renders this service, I presume, not
by decomposition, but by preventing the soil and its manure from
being washed away. Indeed the different varieties of it are
generally scattered over the surface, in pieces so small, that for
convenience sake, the whole may be denominated a _silicious gravel_.

Sometimes the mineral is imbedded in limestone, in the form of
nodules, thus indicating their original connexion with it.

The varieties, so far as I have observed, are quartz, hornstone,
flint, jasper, and semi-opal; and several, which to me are
non-descripts. _Quartz_ is the most abundant. It is found of
different colours; compact, and porous or cellular; of every size;
simple and associated with other silicious stones; massive and
crystallized. In Augusta and Rockbridge counties in Virginia,
beautiful crystals of quartz, of a singular form, are found. They
are six-sided prisms, with double acuminations, that is, with
six-sided pyramids, mounted on the opposite ends of the prism. A
specimen of two such crystals united, you have received. It was
found near Lexington. A curious variety of the quartz gravel-stone
occurs on both sides of Elk River, a few miles above its junction
with the Tennessee, in the Alabama territory. As you travel to the
west from Huntsville, it appears first in the neighbourhood of
Fort Hampton, two miles east of Elk River, and may be seen for ten
miles west of that river. The mineral is remarkable for containing
a curious petrifaction. Its first appearance is that of a solid
screw. On examination, however, you find it is not spiral; but
consists of parallel concentric layers. Their diameter varies in
different specimens, from that of a pin to half an inch. They stand
in the centre of a hollow cylinder, extending its whole length, and
occupying about one-third of its dimensions. The stone is sometimes
perfectly filled with these forms. The petrifaction I could not
have named, had you not pronounced it the "Entrochite."

_Hornstone_, next to quartz, is the most abundant of the silicious
minerals associated with limestone. It is very often seen imbedded
in rounded masses, both in the inclined and horizontal strata.

_Flint_ is more rare. Several fine specimens were observed on the
western declivity of the Look-Out Mountain, but in no instances in
large masses or quantities.

_Semi-Opal_ was found in one instance on the dividing ridge, which
constitutes the southwestern boundary of the limestone strata.

Of the non-descripts you have several specimens. One variety
strikes fire with steel, is a milk-white colour, adheres slightly
to the tongue, and has no degree of translucency on its edges. As
Mr. Kain has furnished you with an interesting detail of particular
minerals found in East Tennessee and Western Virginia, I need not
recapitulate what he has so well said.

(_To be continued._)

ART. III. _Notice of the Scenery, Geology, Mineralogy, Botany, &c.
of Belmont County, Ohio, by_ CALEB ATWATER, _Esq. of Circleville_.

Belmont county is bounded on the north by Jefferson and Harrison,
on the west by Guernsey, and south by Monroe county, and on the
east by the Ohio river. It is 27 miles in length, and 21 in
breadth, containing 535 square miles. Its name, _Belmont_, or
beautiful mountain, indicates its situation, for it contains within
its boundaries a fine body of land, rising gradually as you are
travelling from the Ohio to the west, until you arrive at about the
middle of it, where, from the elevation on which you stand, the eye
in an eastern direction, beholds one of the most charming prospects
in the state. Looking towards the east, in a pleasant morning, you
behold a beautiful country of hill and dale spread out before you,
divided into convenient and well-cultivated farms, intersected by
glittering streams, meandering through them towards the Ohio. You
hear the lowing of numerous herds around you, the shrill matin of
the songsters of the forest, and the busy hum of the industrious
husbandman; you see here and there a clump of trees interspersed
among the cultivated parts of the country; you see the comfortable
dwelling-house, the substantial barn, and hear the rumbling noise
of the mill; and when you reflect that those who dwell here are
industrious and enterprising, virtuous, free, and happy, you behold
with pleasure, and listen with delight, while reflecting on the
objects around you.

_Geology and Mineralogy._

On the surface is seen a rich vegetable mould, made by the decay
and putrefaction of vegetable substances. Along the Ohio, a wide
intervale of the richest alluvion is found, which produces as
luxuriant a growth of vegetation as any in the world. On the banks
of the creeks which pass through this country the alluvial soil is
not so wide as that on the river, but equally rich and productive.
On the hills (and there are many of them) there are two kinds of
soil, the silicious and the argillaceous, the first is formed from
the decomposition of the rocks which once covered the surface, the
latter from the slate which lay under them. Where these rocks are
decomposed, and the country is hilly, it will readily be believed
that the two kinds of soil are frequently blended together. In some
places we see the best of clay for bricks; whilst in other places,
and those in the vicinity of the former, we find the best of sand
to mould them in when manufactured. Hard limestone of the very best
quality is found in detached fragments in the sides of hills, and
in strata, in abundance, along the beds of streams.

The ruins of the sandstone formation are here seen scattered about
in fragments, or decomposed and intimately blended with those of
other formations.

Fossil coal is every where found under the hills, of the very best
quality, and in sufficient quantity not only for the fuel of the
present, but many future generations, and is so easily obtained
that the expense of fuel is a mere trifle. The oxide of iron, or
iron ore variously combined, is recognized in many places, and
water combined with muriate of soda, or common salt, is as common.
Salines or licks are found in many places, where animals also, both
wild and domesticated, resort in great numbers to drink the waters.
These are frequently near some little water-course. Several sulphur
and chalybeate springs are known to exist in this county, and some
which throw out considerable quantities of petroleum.

In a country where iron and fossil coal exist, it is no wonder
that copperas should be found. There are places where copperas
exudes in a state sufficiently pure in quality, and in quantities
sufficient for several families, who collect and use it in dying.
The same may be said of alum, which is collected in the same way
for similar purposes.


Though this county is very rich in the mineral, yet it is not less
so in the vegetable kingdom, as may be seen by a reference to the
subjoined catalogue, although numbers of trees, shrubs, and plants,
are purposely omitted, which are known to exist here.

   _Family._     _Species._         _Classical name._     _Remarks._

  Oak,          White,              Quercus Alba,         Abundant.
  ----          Black,              ----    Nigra,            Do.
  ----          Meadow,             ----    Aquatica,     Along the
  ----          Chesnut,            ----    Prunus,       Scarce.
  Maple,        Sugar,              Acer Saccharinum,     Abundant.
  ----          White,              ---- Alba.
  Poplar or     White,              Liriodendron,         Abundant.
  ----          Yellow.
  Walnut,       Black,              Juglans Nigra.
  ----          White,              ----    Alba.
  ----          Shellbark Hickory,  ----    Albaovata.
  ----          Pignut,             ----    Minima.
  ----          Bitternut, and
                  probably several
                  other species.
  Beach,        Two species,        Fagus.
  ----          Chesnut,            ---- Americana.
  Ash,          White,              Fraxinus Alba.
  ----          Blue,               ---- Purpurea.
  ----          Black,              ---- Nigra.
  ----          Swamp,              ---- Aquatica.
  Elm,          Two or three        Ulmus.
  Buckeye,      Common,             Æsculusflava Lutea?
  ----          Sweet,              ---- Maxima?
  Locust,       Four species,       Robinia Pseud
                                      Acacia, &c.
  Persimmon,                        Diospyros Virginica.
  Linn or Bass                      Tilia Europea.

  Cucumber,                         Cucuminis
  Dog Wood, or  Two species.
  Sycamore,     Two species,        Platanus
                                      Occidentalis, &c.
  Plum,         Several species.
  Thorn,          do.     do.

The red bud; the pawpaw; grape-vines of several species, and
growing to a great size; sassafras; the black willow, confined
to the streams; the box elder, the common elder, of two species;
the sumach, of two species; several species of gooseberries;
and a great many others too numerous to be mentioned here.
Among the herbaceous plants we must not omit the ginseng, the
Virginia snakeroot, the columbo, and the puccoon, two or three
thousand pounds of the roots of which are annually carried by
the inhabitants to our Atlantic cities. Among the trees, those
belonging to the oak family are the most numerous, if not the most
valuable. Split into rails, the farmer builds fences with them, and
sawed into plank, boards, and scantling, they furnish materials
for houses and barns. The sugar maple is sufficiently abundant, so
that brown sugar enough is manufactured for domestic purposes. The
sycamore is the largest tree along the river, and the poplar is the
largest on the hills. The latter grows by the side of the maple and
the beach, and is a most valuable wood for the house-builder and
the cabinetmaker. This tree is frequently four and five feet in
diameter, and continues of nearly the same size as it ascends, 40,
50, and sometimes even 60 feet.


The Ohio is the eastern boundary of this county, forming wide
intervales along its banks. Indian Wheeling is a fine mill stream
rising in Harrison county, and after crossing this, empties into
the Ohio, opposite the town of Wheeling, which stands on the
Virginia side.

Captina is another excellent mill stream, which after running about
17 or 18 miles in this county, puts into the Ohio 23 miles by water
below Wheeling. These streams visit and fertilize a considerable
part of Belmont.

From the view we have taken of this county, its geology,
mineralogy, and botany, the reader will probably be prepared
with us to conclude, that no part of the union, of equal extent,
contains within it greater natural resources, or can support a more
dense population.

The seat of justice is St. Clairsville, situated ten miles from
the Ohio river, at Wheeling. It contains three houses for public
worship, 15 stores, a printing-office, a bank, and 700 inhabitants.

Many of the inhabitants of this county are Quakers or Friends, who
are charitable, humane, frugal, enterprising, industrious, and
strongly opposed to slavery. From such a population, possessing
such advantages, what may we not hope and expect from their
exertions? Their fertile valleys will be turned into meadows, and
their hills into pastures; the ox will fatten in the former, whilst
the flocks of Andalusia will whiten the latter.

ART. IV. _Remarks on the Structure of the Calton Hill, near
Edinburgh, Scotland; and on the Aqueous origin of Wacke; by_ J. W.
WEBSTER, M.D. of Boston.

The country around Edinburgh is extremely interesting to the
geologist, and presents numerous instances of the junction of rocks
to which the advocates of the Neptunian system have referred in
support of their opinion as to the aqueous origin of greenstone,
basalt, and wacke; while the same examples have been cited by the
Volcanists, and by those who hold an intermediate opinion. The
structure of a portion of Calton hill, where the most distinct
alternations of substances (whose aqueous origin none can dispute,)
with pure and well characterized wacke are displayed, has not, as
yet, I believe been particularly described.

Edinburgh is situated nearly in the centre of an extensive coal
formation, where the usual sandstones and other coal measures
are connected with the newer rocks of transition. From the coal
field rise in many places beds of greenstone, in general forming
small conical and round-backed hills. Other eminences are composed
of amygdaloid, claystone, and other porphyries; and basalt and
trap tuff occur in an overlying position. Of these, it is not my
intention to speak otherwise than as conveying a general idea of
the geological relation of the wacke above referred to.

The structure of Calton hill has been exposed by the recent
improvements, and in particular by a section made in the
construction of the new road to London. The rock occurring in
greatest abundance, and which is probably the fundamental bed,
is a porphyry, the basis of which in general is claystone, which
in many places passes into felspar, in others becomes a distinct
greenstone. Numerous veins of calcareous spar traverse it in
different directions, and I am lately informed, that very beautiful
examples of veins of greenstone of contemporaneous formation with
the rock itself, have been discovered _in_ the greenstone. Upon the
porphyry rests a bed of trap tuff, upon this other beds of the two
rocks repose, that at the summit being porphyry. The back of the
hill (as we pass from the city) is a spot of peculiar interest,
consisting of alternate thin beds of bituminous shale, sandstone,
wacke, and clay ironstone, disposed in a manner which will be best
understood by a rough outline taken on the spot.


Monument to NELSON.

  A Porphyry.
  B Trap tuff.
  C Porphyry.
  D Trap tuff.
  E Porphyry.
  F Beds of wacke, &c. upper part concealed by vegetation.

  1 Bituminous shale.
  2 Wacke.
  3 Sandstone.
  4 Bituminous shale, with clay ironstone.
  5 Wacke.
  6 Bituminous shale.
  7 Wacke, _with calc. spar._
  8 Bituminous shale.
  9 Wacke.
  10 Bituminous shale passing on both sides into
  11 Wacke--and _calc. spar._
  12 Bituminous shale.
  13 Wacke.
  14 Bituminous shale.
  15 Wacke.
  16 Bituminous shale.
  17 Sandstone.

The wacke has a greenish gray colour, which is pretty uniform. The
fracture is nearly even and earthy, it is soft, yielding readily to
the nail, and has a feebly shining streak. A slight stroke with the
hammer causes the mass to separate in fragments of various size,
the surfaces of which are often smooth and shining, each bed being
composed of large distinct concretions, having a tendency to the
prismatic form. This wacke fuses with difficulty before Brooke's
blow-pipe. Specific gravity not determined, as it falls to pieces
on being moistened.

The sandstone is for the most part gray, in some parts spotted red
and brown, forming, as the section represents, the last stratum
seen; the beds of sandstone are but a few inches in thickness, and
the last (17) becomes less than an inch; it is probable, however,
from the relative situation, from the dip and direction, that these
strata are a continuation of others seen on the other side of the
hill, where they are of sufficient thickness to have been quarried
for the purposes of architecture. The _beds_ of all rocks we know
vary greatly in different parts, and it is not unusual for them
to be some feet at one extremity, gradually decreasing till less
than an inch in thickness at the other, or they may even be lost
entirely, and gradually regain their former size; and it is not
improbable that these beds of sandstone will be found to continue
on towards the adjoining hills of Salisbury Craig and Arthur's
Seat, passing under the greenstone and trap tuff.

The bituminous shale presents the usual characters; intermixed
with it are numerous nodules of the common clay ironstone, the
colour of which is a yellowish brown, these also frequently present
characters common to the three substances, and throughout the beds,
the passage from the one to the other is distinct. Whatever may be
the opinions in regard to the origin of bituminous shale, there
can be but one in regard to that of sandstone; and this has lately
received no feeble support from the account given us by Dr. Paris,
of a formation of this rock on the coast of Cornwall, where, says
he, "we actually detect nature at work, and she does not refuse
admittance into her manufactory, nor conceal, with her accustomed
reserve, the details of the operations in which she is engaged."

From the appearances which have been thus briefly noticed, no
impartial geologist, we should imagine, would infer the _volcanic_
origin of any portion of this formation; and if the aqueous origin
of sandstone can be established, that of the wacke must be the same.

       *       *       *       *       *

From its intimate connexion with the preceding subject, Dr. Webster
subjoins the following:

  _Extract from a Paper on a recent formation of Sandstone,
  occurring in various parts of the Northern coast of Cornwall_;
  by JOHN AYSTON PARIS, M.D. F.L.S., &c. &c. Published in the
  Transactions of the Geological Society of Cornwall, 1818.

"A very considerable portion of the northern coast of Cornwall,
is covered with a calcareous sand, consisting of minute particles
of comminuted shells. That part which lies between St. Ives and
Padstow is more immediately the subject of the present inquiry;
a tract which, with a few exceptions, is entirely covered with
this species of sand; and which in some places, has accumulated
in quantities so great as to have formed hills of from forty to
sixty feet in elevation. A considerable area, for instance, in
the parishes of Gwythian and Phillack has been thus desolated,
and several churches have been inundated. In digging into these
sand hills, or upon the occasional removal of some part of them
by the winds, the remains of houses may be seen; and in some
places, where the churchyards have been overwhelmed, a great number
of human bones may be found. The sand is supposed to have been
originally brought from the sea by hurricanes, probably at a remote
period."----"The sand first appears in a slight but increasing
state of aggregation on several parts of the shore in the bay of
St. Ives; but on approaching the Gwythian river, it becomes more
extensive and indurated. On the shore opposite to Godrevy Island,
an immense mass of it occurs, of more than a hundred feet in
length, and from twelve to twenty feet in depth, containing entire
shells and fragments of clay slate; it is singular that the whole
mass assumes a striking appearance of stratification. In some
places it appears that attempts have been made to separate it,
probably for the purpose of building; for several old houses in
Gwythian are built of it."----"It is around the promontory of New
Kaye that the most extensive formation of sandstone takes place.
Here it may be seen in different stages of induration; from a
state in which it is too friable to be detached from the rock upon
which it reposes, to a hardness so considerable, that it requires
a very violent blow from a sledge to break it."----"But it is on
the western side of the promontory of New Kaye, in Fistril Bay,
that the geologist will be most struck with the formation; for here
no other rock is in sight. The cliffs, which are high, and extend
for several miles, are entirely composed of it."----"The beach is
covered with disjointed fragments, which have been detached from
the cliff above, many of which weigh two or three tons."

There are three modes by which Dr. Paris conceives the
lapidification of calcareous sand may be effected. 1st. "By the
percolation of water through a hill of calcareous sand, by which it
becomes impregnated with carbonate of lime." 2d. "The percolation
of water through strata containing pyritical substances, by which
it becomes impregnated with sulphuric salts." 3d. "The percolation
of water through decomposing slate, or any ferruginous strata, by
which it becomes impregnated with iron alumina, and other mineral

ART. V. _Localities of Minerals._

_To the Editor of the American Journal of Science, &c._

  NEW-YORK, Dec. 21, 1818.


It is desirable that some mode should be adopted by which the
public may become acquainted with all the _New American Localities
of Minerals_, as they are discovered from time to time. With
deference I would suggest, that in each number of your Scientific
Journal, new localities might be recorded in alphabetical order,
for present information and future reference.

The following localities, which have come under my observation, and
which are probably not noticed in any work, are at your service.

  1. _Agate._ Rolled mass: occurred near Powles Hook, New-Jersey.

  2. _Apatite._ Truncated crystals of one inch, and amorphous;
  occurs in granite, chiefly in the felspar. Corlaer's Hook,
  vicinity of New-York.

  3. _Brown Mammillary Hematite_, covering quartz crystals.
  Perkiomen lead-mine. Montgomery county, Pennsylvania.

  4. _Carbonate of Magnesia._ Structure earthy. Apparently a _pure_
  carbonate of magnesia. In mica slate, and granite; chiefly in the
  quartz. Roxborough, Philadelphia county.

  5. _Common Jasper._ Traversed by veins of semi-opal. Small
  detached masses, frequently waterworn. Rhinebeck, Dutchess
  county, New-York.

  6. _Compact Malachite._ Perkiomen lead-mine.

  7. _Fetid Carbonate of Lime._ In ridges; and strata nearly
  vertical, sometimes containing petrifactions. Very frequent in
  Dutchess county, particularly in the neighbourhood of Rhinebeck
  Flats, and near Hyde Park.

  8. _Fibrous Talc._ In granite. Roxborough.

  9. _Graphic Granite._ North River, near the city of New-York.

  10. _Graphite._ In a calcareo-siliceous gangue. Corlear's Hook.

  11. _Native pulverulent_ (or rather granular) _Sulphur_. In
  pyritical quartz. Barren Hill, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania.

  12. _Plumose Asbestus._ Corlaer's Hook.

  13. _Semi-opal._ In common Jasper--(which see.)

  14. _Scaly Talc._ In granite. Roxborough.

  15. _Stellated Quartz._ Perkiomen lead-mine.

  16. _Sulphate of Barytes._ In sulphuret of lead and silver.
  Livingston's lead-mine, Columbia county, New-York.

  17. _Sulphuret of Silver._ With sulphuret of lead. Same locality.

  18. _Tourmalin._ In masses of crystalline quartz. Rhinebeck.

  Very respectfully,


       *       *       *       *       *

The following notices were prepared before the receipt of the above

_Other Localities of Minerals and of_ ANIMAL REMAINS, _and
acknowledgments of Specimens received_.

_Guadeloupe._--Native sulphur, obsidian, pitchstone, native alum,
basaltic hornblende, alum covered with sulphur.

_Porto Rico._--Hexagonal crystals of mica.

Specimens of the above minerals are in the cabinet of Mr. John P.
Brace, at Litchfield, Connecticut.

_Molybdena_ is found in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, near
Northampton, east of Connecticut River, on the land of William
Eaton. It is the common sulphuret, but remarkably beautiful and
well characterized. Its colour is nearly that of bright lead, very
brilliant, smooth, and almost unctuous; soft, flexible, distinctly
foliated, and the folia are very thin, and easily separable, almost
like mica. It gives the usual greenish trace on white pottery,
while a line drawn parallel on the same basis, by a piece of
plumbago or black-lead, is black; this being (as pointed out by
Brongniart) the easiest criterion, by which to distinguish between
molybdena and plumbago, or black-lead. We have many times applied
it with entire success.

This molybdena, from Shutesbury, is chiefly crystallized, and the
crystals are, in some instances, very distinct; their form is that
of a flat six-sided prism, or what is commonly called a table.
The rock, from which they were obtained, is a granitic aggregate,
(judging from the specimen sent, it may be a true granite) and the
forms of the crystals are very distinctly impressed in the stone,
so that when removed they leave an exact copy or crystal mould.
In a letter from the proprietor of the land, it is said that the
molybdena is found in a ledge of rocks, six or seven feet above the
surface of the earth, and about ten or twelve feet above the level
of the water; the direction of the rocks is from S. to N. E. by N.;
the metal is in a vein, running E., and was discovered in small
pieces in the top of the ledge. After putting in two blasts, some
large pieces were obtained.

From this account, and from the specimens, (some of the crystals
being an inch or more in length) this must be one of the most
interesting localities of molybdena hitherto observed in this
country; and it is hoped Mr. Eaton will take some pains to procure
and furnish specimens.

_Rose Quartz._--From Southbury, Connecticut, not far from Woodbury,
and from the Housatonick River, two young men, of the name of
Stiles, have brought us specimens of _rose quartz_, of delicate and
beautiful colour. It is said to be abundant in a ledge of the same

_Plumbago._--In Cornwall, Litchfield county, Connecticut, plumbago
is found, of a good quality, and in considerable masses, in a vein
contained in a rock of gneiss, or mica-slate. It has been known
a good while, and is said to have been exported anterior to the
American revolutionary war.

_Coal, &c._ in Zanesville, Ohio. Through the kindness of the Rev.
Dr. Bronson, Principal of the Cheshire Academy, we have received
the following information.--In cutting a canal in the above town,
in the spring of 1817, through freestone, trees, and fish, and
other substances, both animal and vegetable, were taken out, alike
petrified to a freestone, excepting the bark of a beach tree, which
was very perfect and beautiful coal--(as we have had an opportunity
of ascertaining, from an examination of the specimens.)

_Coal_, in the county of Muskingum, Ohio. Common stone-coal,
highly bituminous, (the slaty or black coal of Werner,) is found

_South of Lake Erie_, about 25 miles, in the bed of Rocky
River, are found shells, and other animal remains, imbedded in
argillaceous iron; the specimens were collected in 1817, by the
Rev. R. Searle.

_Mammoth's Tooth_, from the River St. Francis, west of Mississippi.
Return J. Meigs, Esq. has transmitted, through the Rev. E.
Cornelius, a mammoth's tooth, apparently not mineralized. It
appears to have belonged to a very old animal, as the processes,
(which, it is well known, are commonly very prominent) are worn
down smooth, and some of them almost obliterated.

_Blue Ridge, Tennessee, and Mississippi Territory._--Through the
kindness of the Rev. E. Cornelius, and of Mr. John H. Kain, we
have received a considerable collection of specimens, illustrative
of the mineralogy and geology, and Indian antiquities of these
regions; they may be, on a future occasion, the subject of more
particular remarks.

_Coal_, in Suffield, Connecticut, on the river of the same name.
From Mr. Nathan Stedman, we have received specimens of coal, found
in thin veins, in rocks of slate, and argillaceous sandstone, on
the banks of the river. The veins are thin, but considerably
numerous; the coal is very glossy and black; breaks with a smooth
and almost conchoidal fracture, and very much resembles jet.
It is very much intersected by thin veins--(not thicker than a
knife-blade)--of white crystallized calcareous spar. This coal is
bituminous, and burns pretty freely. It has not been explored,
except superficially.

_Coal_, in Southington, Connecticut. Beds of slate are found more
or less bituminous; and, at the bottom of some of the wells, the
slate begins to exhibit thin veins of coal, distributed in great
numbers through the substance of the slate, which is the shale of
the miners. The coal is from the thickness of a knife-blade to that
of a finger; it is highly bituminous, and burns with great freedom.
Even the entire masses of the stone burn brilliantly, when ignited
on a common fire; and, after exhaustion of the coally matter, leave
the slate of a grayish colour.

The locality from which the specimens were taken, is on the land of
Roswell Moore, Esq. about midway between Hartford and New Haven.
The spot was lately examined by Col. Gibbs, Eli Whitney, Esq.
Professor Olmstead, and others; and arrangements are making to bore
the strata, to the depth of several hundred feet, if necessary.
These localities are in what may, with propriety, be called the
coal formation of Connecticut. Coal has been found in several other
places in that state; and the peculiar geological features of the
region in which it is contained, are very interesting, and may
hereafter be described in form.

_Sulphat of Barytes, with Coal, &c._--Sulphat of barytes exists
abundantly in Southington, on what is called the Clark Farm. With
quartz, carbonate of lime, &c. it forms the gangue of a metallic
vein, containing galena, or sulphuret of lead, copper pyrites,
&c. The sulphat of barytes is more or less crystallized, and
principally in the form that is called the coxcomb spar. The same
vein, although it is in the side of a mountain, several hundred
feet above the flat country adjacent, and two or three miles from
the coal strata above mentioned, contains numerous spots and
patches of coal, very much resembling that at Suffield. It is of
a most brilliant black, and contrasted with the white, stony
matrix, (principally quartz and sulphat of barytes) in which it is
enveloped, it forms elegant specimens.

_Scintillating Limestone._--In Vermont, a singular scintillating
limestone is found, of which an account is given in the following
extract of a letter from Mr. George Chase, dated Randolph, February
19, 1818.

"The object of the present letter is to acquaint you with a
circumstance relating to the limestone that abounds in this
primitive country, which to me is inexplicable. This carbonate of
lime is of a pale sky-blue colour; effervesces strongly with nitric
acid; and, by burning, produces lime, so that there is no question
as to the identity of the mineral. But it likewise gives forth
sparks with steel:--this I concluded, at first, to be an accidental
circumstance; but every specimen that I have tried, from various
quarters of the country, uniformly gives fire with steel. The
limestone is found in layers, in blocks, and masses, disseminated
among the clay-slate that covers the greatest part of the townships
in this vicinity. When first taken from the earth, and exposed to
the air, it is covered with an incrustation of a dark reddish-brown
colour, that crumbles easily between the fingers, and is generally
from one inch to a foot in thickness. This incrustation, however,
hardens on a long exposure to the air. This led me to think
that the incrustation was owing to the decomposition of the
limestone, which was produced by the sulphuret of iron, intimately
disseminated through the rock, which would also explain the
singular circumstance of its striking fire. But on dissolving a
small quantity of the mineral in nitric acid, and adding a drop or
two of the decoction of gallnut, no discolouring of the liquor was

_Limpid Quartz._--West Canada Creek, a northern branch of the
Mohawk, affords, in its sands, small crystals of quartz, limpid,
and terminated at both ends by pyramids of six sides; we are
indebted for specimens to Professor Fisher.

_Fetid Primitive Limestone, &c._--From the vicinity of Williamstown
College, through the kindness of Professor Dewey, we have received
specimens illustrative of the geology of that region. Among them
is limestone from Stockbridge, crystallized in large plates and
rhomboids, almost white, and still fetid on being rubbed, which is
very different from most fetid limestones, which are dark coloured,
and even black, and do not belong to primitive formation.

_Molybdena._--In Pettipaug, Saybrook, Connecticut, molybdena
occurs. It is mentioned in the Review of Cleaveland's Mineralogy,
and is here cited again for the purpose of pointing out its
locality more exactly. It is found about half a mile to the E. of
the Turnpike leading from Saybrook to Middletown, on the first
road on the right hand above the turnpike gate, near the house of
the widow Pratt. It is not far from Pettipaug meeting-house, in a
northern direction.

_Beryl._--In Haddam, Connecticut, are found many beryls, and
some of uncommon size; an account of one of the most remarkable
localities is contained in the following memorandum from the Rev.
Mr. Mather, to whom we are indebted for specimens.

"The place in which the beryls are found is in the town of Chatham,
about one mile and a half north from Middle-Haddam landing; about
half of a mile S. W. of a large hill, on which is the cobalt mine.
The rock in which the beryls are contained is granite; the parts of
which are very large, especially the felspar and the mica. Large
masses of shorl are also found in these rocks. Beryls have also
been found in other parts of Middle-Haddam, amongst rocks of the
same description. The _greatest_ diameter of the largest beryl is
four inches; the _least_ three inches. The beryls are numerous, and
of different sizes; though few are less than an inch, or two inches
in diameter. The length of the longest beryl is five inches."

_Clay._--Near Delhi, New-York, a few rods from the Delaware river,
are found beds of clay, of which specimens have been transmitted by
Mr. John P. Foote, of New-York. We are of opinion that they are not
porcelain clay.

_Gypsum._--Cayuga Lake. We are informed by Dr. L. Foot, that the
workmen who have excavated about 20 feet on the border of the
lake, in gypsum, which is generally of a dark brown, or black
colour, when they come to a transparent crystallized piece, call
it isinglass, and reject it as worthless: the hint should be
remembered by mineralogists, that the specimens may be saved for
their cabinets.


_Extract of a letter from Dr. I. W. Webster._

  BOSTON, 27th Nov. 1818.


In examining some masses of the anthracite from Rhode Island,
one piece attracted my attention, from the waved structure of
the lamellæ into which it separated. The fragments of this were
wedge-shaped, and I found the space between some of the laminæ
filled up by a fibrous, silky substance, which induced me to break
up other masses, in one of which I discovered an abundance of
amianthus; the filaments are of a light-green colour in some parts
of the mass--in others presenting different shades of brown. With
a microscope, I found the fibres intermixed with the anthracite;
or forming thin layers, and these sometimes parallel to, at others
crossing, in different directions, the course of the laminæ. How
far the presence of this mineral may influence the ignition or
combustion of the coal, is a question, perhaps, worth determining.
Should my engagements permit, I shall make further examination, and
inform you. In the mean time, the notice of this fact may call the
attention of some of your readers to the subject. At any rate, this
substance has, I believe, never before been noticed in connexion
with anthracite, and is highly interesting in a geological point of


We have been familiar with the Rhode Island anthracite, and with
the formation of rocks in which it is found; and, long since,
observed the fact mentioned by Dr. Webster. The asbestos often is
in the form of the most delicate amianthus, frequently blended also
with the slate rocks, which form the roof and pavement of this
coal. A specimen now lies before us, in which a complete vein of
this amianthus, with fibres nearly two inches _in length, connects
and pervades_ a mass of slate, supposed to be of the transition

Similar facts are mentioned also by Dr. Meade, in his account of
the Rhode Island coal.


_Extract of a letter to the Editor, from Dr. H. H. Hayden of

I have very lately discovered a couple of small specimens of the
transparent _red_ pyroxene, resembling fine crystals of titanium,
which I, at first, mistook it for. One of them is contained in
the middle of a large crystal, like the rubellite in the green
tourmalins of Massachusetts, but it is not the same substance. The
pyroxene, which I have reference to, is the olive-coloured epidote
of some, pistazite of others, but resembles, in this instance, the
sahlite; the crystals being divisible longitudinally. Some of them
are five inches long, and half an inch diameter, hexaedral and
double; that is, two joined together, as described by Brochant in

Some other localities, of which we have received notices, may be
mentioned in a future number.


ART. VI. _A List of Plants found in the neighbourhood of Connasarga
River, (Cherokee Country) where Springplace is situated; made by_
MRS. GAMBOLD, _at the request of the Rev. Elias Cornelius_.[32]


  Acer rubrum and Sacharium
  Acanitum uncinatum
  Actæa racemosa
  Adianthum Capillus Veneris
  Aesculus Pavia
  Agrimonium Eupatorium
  Aira pallens
  Aletris farinosa
  Alisma Plantago
  Allium, 2 sp.
  Amasonia latifolia
  Andromeda arborea and other sp.
  Andropogon alopecuides and ambiguum
  Anemone hepatica, Thalictroides, virginiana, and pennsylvania
  Angelica lucida and other sp.
  Antirrhinum elatine
  Apocynum cannabinum
  Aquilegia canadensis
  Aralia spinosa
  Arctatis caroliniana
  Arethusa parviflora
  Aristoloichia serpentaria, 3 sp.
  Arum sagittæfolium and triphyllum
  Arundo tecto
  Asarum virginicum
  Aselepias purpurascens, variegata, verticillata and others, tuberosa
  Aster concolor, linarifolius, and many others
  Avena palustrio and spicata
  Azalea viscosa, and others.


  Berberis canadensis
  Betula alnus
  Bidens pusilla N. S. Muhlenb.
  Bignonia crucigera and radicans
  Bucknera americana.


  Calycanthus floridus
  Campanula perfoliata and divaricata
  Clematis ochraleuca and virginiana
  Clitoria mariana and virginiana
  Collinsonia virginica
  Cardumine virginica
  Carduus, several sp.
  Carex, N. S.
  Cassia chamæcrista, marilandica, nictitans, and Tora
  Ceanothus americanus
  Cephalanthus occidentalis
  Cerastium arvense
  Cercis canadensis
  Chelone glabra and Penstemon
  Chenopodium ambrosioides and anthelminticum
  Chionanthus virginicus
  Chironia campanulata and other sp.
  Chrysogonum virginicum
  Cimicifuga pulmata
  Circea lutetiana
  Cissampelos smilacine
  Claytonia virginica
  Commelina erecta, longifolia virginica
  Convallaria multiflora and racemosa
  Conyza linifolia
  Coreopsis auriculata, bidens, senifolia, tripteris, alternifolia and
  Cornus florida
  Corylus americana
  Crætægus apiifolia
  Crotallaria sagittalis
  Cucubalus behen
  Cuscuta americana
  Cynoglossum officinale and virginicum
  Cynosurus indicus and sparsus
  ---- filiformis (Muhlenb.)
  Cypripedium acaule, alba and calceolus


  Delphinium exaltatum
  Dentaria multifida
  Diodia N. S. and virginica
  Diospyros virginiana
  Dodecatheon media
  Dracocephalon virginianum


  Echium vulgare
  Elephantopus caroliniensis
  Eleusine filiformis
  Epilobium coloratum
  Erigeron pulchellum, and other sp.
  Eryngium aquaticum ovalifolium and yuccæfolium
  Erythronium dens canis
  Eupatorium cœlestinum, perfoliatum, and urticæfolium
  Euphorbia colorata, ipecacuanha, and other sp.
  Evonymus virginicus


  Fagus castanea dentata sylvatica atropunicea
  Festuca nutans, palustris and sylvatica
  Fragaria vesca
  Fumaria N. S.


  Galactia mollis
  Galax aphylla
  Galega hispidula and virginica
  Galium, several sp.
  Gerardia asgelia, hydrophylla, lancifolia and purpurea
  Geum rivale
  Gleditsia spinosa
  Gaura sp.
  Gentiana saponaria, and others
  Geranium, 2 sp.
  Glycine apios and tomentosa parabolica (Muhlenb.)
  Gnaphalium germanicum, and others


  Hedyotis sp.
  Hedysarum prostratum, and others
  Helianthus angustifolius. sp. nova.
  Houstonia cœrulea, purpurea, and varians
  Hydrangea glauca
  Hypericum fasciculatum, nudiflorum, prolificum, and others
  Hypnum sp.
  Hypoxis erecta.


  Ilex aquifolium sp.
  Impatiens noli tangere
  Inula graminifolia and mariana
  Ipomœa, sky blue, and other sp.
  Iris, low, sweet-smelling blossoms in spring, and other sp.


  Jutropha stimulosa
  Juglans alba acuminata
  ---- ---- ovata
  Juglans nigra
  ---- oblonga alba
  Juncus bicornis and tenuis


  Kalmia latifolia
  Kyllingia triceps


  Laurus benzoin and sassafras
  Lechea minor
  Lepidium sp.
  Liatris graminifolia, spicata and squarrosa
  Lilium martagen
  Limodorum tuberosum
  Linum virginicum
  Liquidamber styraciflua
  Liriodendrum tulipifera
  Lobelia cardinalis, inflata, kalmii, puberula and siphylitica
  Lonicera erecta and symphoricarpos
  Ludugia alternifolia jussiæoides
  Lupinus sp.
  Lycopodium apodum and rupestre
  Lycopus virginicus
  Lysimachia quadrifolia and punctata
  ---- sp.
  Lythrum lineare and strictum.


  Malaxis unifolia
  Marchantia polymorpha
  Mimosa horridula
  Mimulus ringens
  Melanthium latum
  ---- sp.
  Melica speciosa
  Melissa nepeta
  Menispermum carolinianum
  Mespilus several sp.
  Mitchella repens
  Momordica sp.
  Monarda punctata
  Monotropa several sp.


  Oenothera biennis, lineanis, and others
  Ophioriza mitreola
  Ophrys cernua
  ---- sp.
  Orchis ciliaris unifolia
  Orobanche uniflora
  Oxalis, 2 sp.


  Panax ginseng
  Panctratium carolinianum
  Pancium nitidum
  Parietaria pennsylvanica
  Parnassia caroliniana
  Parthenium integrifolium
  Passiflora incarnata and lutea
  Paspalium ciliatifolium
  Pedicularis canadensis
  Penstemon lævis
  Penthorum sedoides
  Phlox ovata, paniculata and pilosa
  Phryma liptostachia
  Physalis pubescens, several sp.
  Phytolacca decandra
  Pinus, several sp.
  Plantago major and virginica
  Poa nervata
  Podophyllum peltatum
  Polygala cruciata, incarnata and lutea
  Polygonum hydropiper, and other sp.
  Potentilla reptans
  Prenenthes trifida
  Prunella vulgaris
  Prunus cerasus virginiana, and others
  Psoralea melilotoides
  Pyrola, 2 sp.
  Pyrus malus coronarius


  Quercus alba, 2 sp.
  ---- nigra, various sp.
  ---- rubra
  Quercus prinus
  ---- Phellos
  Queria canadensis


  Ranunculus bulbosus, and other sp.
  Rhexia mariana
  Rhus toxicodendron, and others
  Ribes sp.
  Rosa, several sp.
  Rubus fruticosus, hispidus and occidentalis
  Rudbeckia fulgida, hirta and purpurea


  Sagittaria sagittifolia
  Salix tristis and others
  Sisyrinchium Bermudiana
  Sisymbrium nasturtium
  Salvia lyrata and urticæfolia
  Sambucus nigra
  Sanicula marilandica
  Sanguinaria canadensis
  Saururus cernuus
  Scabiosa sp.
  Schoenus sparsus
  Scirpus retrofractus
  Sentellaria hyssoppifolia, parviflora, and others
  Sedum, a low plant, fl. white
  Senecio sp.
  Serratula præalta, scariosa and spicata
  Sida rhombifolia and spinosa
  Silene antirrhina, and another sp.
  Sium sp.
  Smilax sarsaparilla and other sp.
  Smyrnium aureum
  Solanum nigrum
  Solidago nova boracensis, rigida, virga aurea and others.
  Sonchus sp.
  Sophora fl. purple
  Spigelia marilandica
  Spiræa aruncus, apulifolia, stipulaica, tomentosa and trifoliata
  Staphylæa trifoliata
  Stellaria sp.
  Styrax sp.
  Sylphium N. S.
  ---- compositum.


  Tabernamontana latifolia
  Teverium canadense
  Thalictrum, various sp.
  Thlaspi bursæ pastoris
  Thymus virginicus
  Tradescantia virginica
  Tragopogon dandelion
  Trichodium laxiflorum and procumbens
  Trichostema dichotoma
  Trifolium (Buffalo)
  Trillium cernuum, luteum, sessile, and another sp.
  Triosteum angustifolium


  Ulmus, 2 sp.
  Uniola latifolia
  Uvularia sessilifolia.


  Vaccinium, several sp.
  Verbascum lychnitis
  Verbena officinalis
  Verbesina sp.
  Veronica virginica
  Viburnum, several sp.
  Viola, several sp.
  Vitis, several sp.


  Xanthium strumarium
  Xantoxylon tricarpon


  Yucca filamentosa.

_Acer rubrum._--The inner bark boiled to a sirup, made into pills,
and these dissolved in water, is used in cases of sore eyes; the
eyes washed therewith.

_Actæa racemosa._--The root in spirits, these made use of in
rheumatic pains.

_Adianthum Capillus Verenis._--A decoction of the whole plant, used
as an emetic in cases of ague and fever. A very strong medicine.

_Aesculus Pavia._--The nuts pounded, are used in poultices.

_Agave._--The root is chewed in obstinate cases of diarrhœa with
wonderful success. It is, however, a very strong medicine.

_Allium._--The Indians are fond of, for culinary purposes.

_Angelica._--The same.

_Annona._--Of the bark they make very strong ropes.

_Aralia spinosa._--A decoction of the roots roasted and pounded,
(green, they are poisonous) is given as an emetic. A very strong

_Asarum virginicum._--The leaves dried and pounded, are used for
snuff; fresh, they are applied to wounds.

_Bignonia crucigera._--Tea made of the leaves cleanses the blood.

_Calycanthus floridus._--The _roots_ are used as (though very
strong) emetics. The _seeds_ to poison wolves.

_Carduus._--various species. The roots used in poultices.

_Cercis canadensis._--Children are fond of eating the blossom.

_Coreopsis auriculata._--The whole plant is much used in colouring.
It affords a _red_ colour.

_Cornus florida._--The bark of the root is used to heal wounds, and
in poultices.

_Ilex._--Of the wood, spoons are made. The berries of service in

_Juglans oblonga alba._--A kind of pills are prepared from the
inner bark, and used as a cathartic.

_Liquidamber styraciflua._--The gum is used for a drawing plaster.
Of the _inner_ bark a tea is made for nervous patients.

_Liriodendrum tulipifera._--Of the bark of the root a tea is made,
and given in fevers. It is also used in poultices.

_Melanthium._--The root is a crow poison; and a sure, but severe
cure for the itch.

_Pinus._--Boil the root, skim off the turpentine, spread it on
Deer's skin (tanned,) for a drawing plaster.

_Podophyllum peltatum._--A sirup is boiled of the root, and given
for a purgative, two pills at a time. A drop of the juice of the
fresh root in the ear, is a cure for _deafness_. (So I have been
told, I never witnessed it.)

_Potentilla reptans._--A tea of it is given in fevers.

_Prunus cerasus virginiana._--Of the bark a tea is made, and drunk
in fevers.

_Quercus alba._--The bark is used for an emetic.

_Quercus nigra_ and _rubra_.--A die for leather.

_Rosa._--The roots boiled, and drunk in cases of dysentery.

_Rubus fruticosus._--The root good to chew in coughs.

_Sanguinaria canadensis._--The root is used for the _red_ die in
basket making.

_Saururus cernuus._--The roots roasted and mashed, used for

_Solanum nigrum._--When young, made use of as the best relished

_Solidaga virga aurea._--A tea much made use of in fevers.

_Sophora._--A blue die.

_Spigelia marilandica._--In cases of worms.

_Spiræa stipulaica_ and _trifoliata_.--The whole plant a very good
emetic. Of a strong tea or decoction thereof, a pint is drunk at a

_Tradescantia virginica._--The leaves much relished greens for the

_Yucca filamentosa._--The roots pounded and boiled, are used
instead of soap to wash blankets; likewise to intoxicate fishes,
by strewing them pounded on the water. The same is done with

ART. VII. _Description of a new species of Asclepias. By Dr._ ELI
IVES, _Professor, &c. in the Medical Institution of Yale College_.
(_With a Plate._)

The plant, which is the subject of the following observations, is
found growing abundantly on the sandy plains east of Cedar Hill, in
New-Haven. It is locally associated with the asclepias viridiflora
and verticillata. When this species of asclepias was first noticed
by me, it was supposed to be a variety of viridiflora of Rafinesque
and Pursh; but after examining a great number of specimens, it was
found that the varieties did not blend themselves. The leaves of
the viridiflora being uniformly oblong and obtuse, the leaves of
the other uniformly lanceolate and acute. To this new species I
purpose to give the name Lanceolata.

_Specific character of the asclepias lanceolata_:--Stem decumbent,
hirsute; leaves opposite, lanceolate, acute, sub sessile,
hirsuit umbels lateral, solitary, sessile, nodding, subglobose,
dense-flowered; appendage none. See the plate.

The asclepias lanceolata is allied to the asclepias longifolia and
viridiflora by the absence of appendage or horn of the nectary. It
is distinguished from the longifolia, which is characterized by
alternate linear leaves, and umbels erect.

[Illustration: _Asclepias lanceolata._]

The asclepias lanceolata and asclepias viridiflora belong to Mr.
Elliott's genus acerates. In both, the nectary or stamineous crown
is short concave, and oppressed to the angles of the filaments.

ART. VIII. _Description of a New Genus of American Grass._ DIPLOCEA

Diplocea. _Generic definition._ Flowers paniculated monoical or
polygamous. Exterior glumes membranaceous bivalve one to three
flowered, valves subequal emarginated mutic. Anterior glumes
bivalve unequal, the largest notched, notch aristated, the
smallest mutic entire bearded. _Additional characters._ Flowers
when single sepile with a lateral jutting peduncle, when double,
one sepile and one pedunculated, when three two are pedunculated
and alternate. The hermaphrodite and male flowers are similar: the
female are nearly clandestine, inferior. Stamens 3, styles 2. Seeds
ovate oblong.

_Observations._ This genus is intermediate between _amphicarpon_,
Raf. (_Milium amphicarpon_, _Pursh_) and _aira_, L. It differs from
this last by its polygamy, variable number of flowers, notched
valves, &c. The generic name means _double notch_. Its type is
the following species, which had been ranged with the _aira_, by
Walter, and considered doubtful by Pursh.

_Diplocea Barbata._

_Specific definition._ Stems cespitose, articulations bearded;
leaves rough glaucous, neck ciliated; panicles, few flowered,
female axillary; largest valvet rinervate, and ciliated as well as
the awl.

_Latin definition._ Caulibus cespetosis, geniculis barbatis, collo
ciliato, foliis scabris glaucis, paniculis paucifloris, femineis
axillaribus; valva majore trinerva, aristaque ciliata.

_Description._ Roots, annual fibrous: stems many, unequal, rather
procumbent at the base, next assurgent, rising one foot at utmost;
they are geniculated, slender, brittle, weak, and smooth. The knees
or joints are bearded, the sheaths are split, the neck ciliated,
the leaves short, stiff, rough glaucous, linear acute, obscurely
striated. The panicles have few flowers, particularly the female
ones, which are axillary coarctated almost hidden, while the
male are terminal and divaricate: some hermaphrodite flowers are
occasionally, but seldom found among both panicles; they are all
similar, differing only in the want of stamina or pistils. The
valves of the exterior glumes are nearly equal oblong notched
obtuse, mutic and oneneroed. The valvules or valves of the glumule
(corolla or interior glume) are unequal, the largest is ciliated
trinerve bifid, with a soft ciliated awl in the notch, as long as
the valve: the small valve is ovate acute concave, very hairy on
the back. The colour of the flower is reddish or pale red; but

_Observations._ This plant is probably the _aira purpurea_ of
Walter, Pursh, Elliott, &c. but does not belong to that genus.
It was found in Carolina, but I have found it on Long-Island,
near Gravesend, Bath, Oyster-Bay, &c. on the sandy and gravelly
sea-shore: it grows probably in the intermediate states. It
blossoms in August and September, has no particular beauty, but
a very singular appearance. The specific name of _purpurea_ was
improper, since the colour of the flowers is variable from whitish
to red.

ART. IX. _Floral Calendar, &c._

  _To the Editor of the American Journal of Science, &c._

  PLAINFIELD, October 17, 1818.


Should the following calendar be thought worthy of a place in
your Journal, you will please to insert it. Though very brief, it
will show that vegetation is considerably later on the range of
mountains, on which this place is situated, than in the level parts
of our country.

  Yours truly,


_Floral Calendar for Plainfield, Massachusetts_, 1818. By JACOB

_March 13._ Robins and bluebirds appear.

_April 25._ Claytonia in flower. A considerable part of the ground
is covered with snow, which, in many places, is 2 or 3 feet deep.

_April 27._ Observed the claytonia, blue violet, strawberry, and a
species of sedge, in blossom, at Worthington.

_May 1._ Hepatica, roundleaved violet, and erythronium in flower.

_May 10._ Chrysosplenium, or golden saxifrage, in flower.

_May 15._ The large trillium, or purple wakerobin, in flower.

_May 18._ Uvularia, or cellwort, and white violet, in flower.

_May 19._ A fall of snow, so that the ground at night was almost
covered with it.

_May 22._ The beautiful coptis, or goldthread, in flower.

_May 25._ Ash and beech in flower.

_May 26._ Sugar-maple, viburnum, threeleaved arum, blue violet,
small panax, prostrate mitella, fly honeysuckle, white berried
gaultheria, and umbelled Solomon's seal, in flower.

_June 17._ Absent, since my last date, on a tour to New-York. Four
other specimens of Solomon's seal, trientalis, azalea, 2 species of
crowfoot, blue-eyed grass, medeola, moose-bush, and several species
of vaccinium, in flower. The small trillium, or smiling wakerobin,
sarsaparilla, and dentaria, blossomed during my absence.

_June 22._ Small enothera, 2 species of veronica, and the golden
senecio, in flower.

_June 23._ Mountain ash, Norway potentilla, sanicle, and the lovely
linnea in flower.

_June 28._ Prunella, and red and white clover, in flower.

_June 29._ Mitchella, in flower.

_June 30._ Yellow diervilla, in flower.

_July 1._ Climbing corydalis, in flower.

_July 4._ The fimbriate archis, and roundleaved pyrola, in flower.

_July 5._ Spiked epilobium, and roundleaved mallows, in flower.

_July 6._ Mullen, in flower.

_July 7._ Small geranium in flower.

_July 8._ Another species of epilobium, in flower.

_August 18._ Frost this morning.


ART. X. _Notes on Herpetology, by_ THOMAS SAY, _of Philadelphia_.

(Communicated by the Author.)

Although I have not devoted a particular study to this department
of the science of nature, yet I have been amused and instructed by
casually observing many of the subjects of it, when I have been
rambling in their native haunts, pursuing objects more particularly
interesting to me.

But when perusing, the other day, the account of the copper-head
of our country, by Mr. Rafinesque, I was impelled to ask for
information on the subject, through your useful publication, in
which that account appeared, and to make, at the same time, a few
miscellaneous remarks or notes. These are in part included in
the present essay, and if they should have a tendency to incite
attention to the reptilia of the United States, at present in a
state of confusion and incertitude, some portion of benefit will be
rendered to the great cause of science.

I think that a moderate degree of labour and observation bestowed
upon the investigation of the species already described, would
prove the unity in nature of some species which have been
considered as distinct by all the authors, would detect many errors
in observation, expose some deceptions practised on credulity by
the designing, and would enable us to fix, with some degree of
accuracy, our knowledge of truth and of the species.

A work devoted particularly to this class, by some one adequate
to the task, who could have in his view all the known species, is
indeed a desideratum.

_Scytale cupreus_, Copper-head, &c. of Mr. Rafinesque. I have
always considered the Copper-head to be no other than the
_Cenchris mockeson_ of authors, and _Boa contortrix of Linn._
v. Latr. Lacep. Shaw, Daudin, &c. _Agkistrodon mokasen_ of
Beauvois; which opinion is not a little corroborated by an actual
comparison of one of these animals in Peale's Museum, with the
descriptions of the authors above mentioned. It may be objected
to me, that the _mockeson_ of those naturalists is a _Cenchris_,
and not a _Scytale_, therefore generically distinguished from
the Copper-head; but on the other hand, we know that the genus
_Cenchris_ does not exist in nature, that the individual upon
which it was founded, was either a fortuitous variety, or that
the illustrious naturalist was deceived by the desiccation of his
specimen, giving to the basal caudal plates a bifid aspect. That
the former was the case I analogically infer, from having seen,
in the collection of the Academy of Natural Sciences, a _Coluber
heterodon_, of which the fifth and sixth pairs of caudal scales
were entire, and not as usual bifid. An additional corroboration of
the truth of this inference is derived from the circumstance of the
_Scytale_ of Peale's Museum, having the ten or eleven apical caudal
plates bifid, precisely as in the genus _Acanthophis_, to which
it seems closely affianced, and to which it would be referred if
this character was a permanent one. In every other character this
specimen coincides with the _S. mockeson_ of authors, and in every
necessary respect with the _S. cupreus_ of Mr. R. with the sole
exception of the calcarate termination of the tail. This caudal
horn seems to approximate Mr. R's. animal to the _S. piscivorus_
or true horn-snake, about which the credulous have so absurdly
alarmed themselves, and which was arranged with the _Crotali_ by
Lacepede, in consequence of having a horn on the tail an inch long.
We find sometimes a small indurated tip to the tail of _Coluber
melanoleucus_,[33] at least upon some full grown specimens,
formed by the elongation and appression of the terminal scales; a
larger one on that of the European viper, and of the _Acanthophis
cerastes_, and _Brownii_. Mr. Peale's specimen certainly has not
the horn, but it has at the termination of the tail a scale
somewhat longer and more indurated than the others, the individual
had not attained his full growth. If then this species (and some
others) is subject to vary in the form of its caudal plates, from
which the generic characters are in part estimated, may it not
also vary in the armature of the tail, which at most can only
be considered as specific. The Copper-belly is a very distinct
species. If the _S. cupreus_ is, notwithstanding the above
observations, considered a distinct species, it would gratify those
who cultivate natural history, to have some good discriminative
characters of it.

Much has been said and written about antidotes to the venomous
bites of snakes, and Mr. Rafinesque enumerates over again several
plants which have been said to be, and which he appears to believe
to be specifics. If the case was my own, I would be very unwilling
to rely upon either of the 20 or 30 medicinal plants, dubiously
mentioned by the late Professor Barton, as reputed antidotes for
this poison. It would be more prudent to resort unhesitatingly to a
more certain remedy, in the ligature, and immediate excision of the
part, where such an operation was practicable, or to cauterization,
if the part could not be removed by the knife.

In conversation with Professor Cooper upon this subject, he
informed me that in his domestic medical practice he applied common
chalk to the wounds occasioned by the stings of hymenopterous
insects. That in consequence of this mode of treatment, the pain
was immediately allayed, and the consequent inflammation and
intumescence were prevented. The experiment which led to this
result was induced by the supposition that the venomous liquid
might be an acid, which opinion was, in some degree, justified by
the event.[34] Upon the same neutralizing principle it must be
supposed that any alkali would be beneficial. The learned Professor
supposed, that the venom of the poisonous reptilia may, in like
manner, be an acid secretion, and recommends this to be ascertained
by experiments upon the liquid itself.

If this inference proves correct, the same alkaline remedy may be
employed to neutralize, or so modified as to stimulate, in case,
as is supposed by some, the poison produces upon the system a
typhoid action.

An instance however is related in the Trans. Royal Soc. of Lond.
of the unsuccessful administration of the vol. alkali in case of
the bite of a Rattle-snake; and an intelligent physician of Georgia
informed me, that he had applied the same stimulant in vain for the
cure of the bites of poisonous snakes, but that being once stung by
a Scorpion, he was instantaneously relieved by the topical use of
this liquid. He further related to me a cure performed under his
observation, by means of the singular antidote, which has often
been resorted to in case of snake bites, that of the application
of a living domestic fowl or other bird directly to the wound;
three fowls were applied in this instance, of which two died in
a few minutes, it was supposed, by the poison extracted from the
wound. This account, from an observant medical professor, (who
may nevertheless have been deceived) acquires some additional
title to consideration by a similar event which lately occurred at
Schooley's Mountain, New-Jersey. We are informed from a respectable
source, that a boy was there bitten by a Copper-head, (Scytale
mockeson.)[35] The part was immediately painful, became swollen and
inflamed, and the sufferer had every appearance of having received
a dangerous wound. A portion of the breast of a fowl was denudated
of feathers, and applied to the wound; in a few minutes the fowl
died, without having experienced any apparent violence or injurious
pressure, from the hand of the applicant, the breast exhibiting a
livid appearance. Another living fowl was then laid open by the
knife, and the interior of the body placed upon the wound. The
wound was subsequently scarified, and variously administered to.
The boy however recovered, and his cure was generally attributed,
at least in part, to the application of the birds. I am as far
as any one from relying implicitly upon this mode of treatment,
and would only resort to it when the part bitten could not be
extirpated, and when a cautery was not at hand. Yet it must be
confessed, that from the numerous attestations to its efficacy we
should be almost led to suppose a very strong affinity to exist
between the venom and the animal thus applied.

That so numerous a catalogue of plants have gained credit with the
uninformed as specifics, will not be surprising, when we know that
the reservoir of the venom is very readily exhausted and slowly
replenished. When this reservoir is vacated, the reptile is of
course innoxious, and the most inert plant would then stand a good
chance of gaining reputation with the credulous as a specific.

For a similar reason we have so many cures for the bite of a rabid
animal; and it may be for a similar reason that the body of an
animal has acquired repute as an antidote, against the venom of a

_Coluber trivittata_ of Mr. R. p. 80, of this work. Judging from
the descriptive name and the locality, is the _C. sirtalis_ of
authors, or possibly the _C. saurita_ or _C. ordinatus_. These
serpents have each the three vittæ, though in the two former this
trait is much more striking. I know of no other serpent in our
vicinity to which the name can be characteristically applied. The
_ordinatus_ has been called _bipunctatus_ and _ibibe_ by the French
school. What is the difference between _sirtalis_ and _saurita_?
they must be very closely allied, if not synonymous.

_Coluber getulus_, Lin. This species attains to a more considerable
magnitude than authors have stated. I saw a specimen on Cumberland
Island, Georgia, at least five feet long. The ground colour, by
the direction of light in which I viewed him, was deep glaucous
or livid, he was much more robust than _C. Constrictor_.[36] He
permitted my near approach, without agitating his tail in the
menacing manner of the serpent just mentioned, and of the crotali,
or manifesting any signs of fear. In my anxiety to secure
him, he eluded my grasp, and by a sudden and rapid exertion,
disappeared, with all the rapidity of movement so remarkable in
the _constrictor_. This last, from his celerity, is known in many
districts by the name of _Racer_.

_Coluber heterodon._ This viperine species, of which Latreille has
formed a genus under the name of _Heterodon_, varies considerably
in its markings, and like most of our serpents, is not constant
in the number of its plates and scales, (126, 48-138, 42-141, 42,
&c.) perhaps too much reliance has been placed upon colour, and
upon the number of the plates and scales beneath the body, of the
Ophidiæ generally. In the form of the anterior termination of the
head, the _heterodon_ is remarkable, and a good specific character
may be obtained from the orbital scales, which are eleven or twelve
in number; the parabolic curve which passes through the eyes, and
terminates at the maxillary angles, is also generally present.
This same serpent was figured in Deterville's ed. of Buffon, under
the name of _Coleuvre cannelee_. The _heterodon_ abounds in many
sandy situations, and near the sea-shore. Several persons pursuing
a pathway, passed within a few inches of one of them without his
betraying any emotion, but the moment he perceived me advancing
with my eye fixed upon him, he with a sudden exertion assumed a
defensive attitude, by elevating the anterior portion of his body,
flattening his head, and 3 or 4 inches length of his neck; these he
waved with a steady and oblique motion from side to side, uttering
at the same time an audible sibilation, he made no attempt to
escape, and seemed absolutely fearless until taken. They have the
habit of the vipera, but not the fangs. It seems to be synonymous
with _Coluber simus_. This species is often called _mockeson_.
Dr. Shaw's description of _Boa contortrix_ seems to indicate this
species. Was he deceived by an erroneous reference to Catesby's
figure of this Hog-nose? or by Forster's catalogue?

_Coluber punctatus._ A good diagnostic character of this species,
in addition to the cervical cestus, rests in the triple series of
abdominal dots; but these are often wanting or obsolete in the
young specimen, in which state it is probably the _torquatus_ of
Shaw. Sometimes the dots are wanting on the neck and near the
cloaca; and in one aged individual, the intermediate line occurred
double, and confluent on the throat.

_Coluber fulvius_, this species is said by Daudin to be closely
allied to his _C. coccineus_, notwithstanding the difference in
plates and scales. But it is certainly very distinct by other
characters, and strikingly so in its perfectly annular black and
red bands; the latter are margined with yellowish and spotted with
black. A specimen has 224 plates and 32 scales, total length 21
inches, length of the tail 1-9/10 inch. The _coccineus_ has the
under part of the body whitish, immaculate. The _fulvius_ seems to
belong to the genus _vipera_; it has the fangs, but not the orifice
behind the nostril, which communicates with the reservoir of venom,
so conspicuous in the _crotali_, &c.

_Ophisaurus ventralis._ The tail of this snake not only breaks in
pieces when struck with a weapon, but portions of it are thrown
off at the will of the serpent. This singular fact I witnessed in
Georgia. This is one of the many which are called horn-snakes. A
tip of the tail of one of them was once brought to me as having
been taken from a recently withered tree, which the bearer assured
me was destroyed by the insertion of this formidable instrument,
and it was not without considerable difficulty he was convinced of
the innocence of the tail, and of having been the dupe of a knave.
There seems to be a peculiar character in the mode of imbrication
of the scales of this species, each one of these at the lateral
edges, passes beneath the lateral scale on one side, and over
the edge of the opposite one. It has been described under five
different generic names, and four different specific ones.

The _Crotali_ do not gain a single joint only to the rattle
annually, as is generally supposed. They gain more than one
each year, the exact number being probably regulated in a great
measure by the quantity of nourishment the animal has received.
Rattle-snakes in Peale's Museum have been observed to produce 3
or 4 in a year, and to lose as many from the extremity during the
same time. Hence it is obvious, that the growth of these curious
appendages is irregular, and that the age of an individual cannot
be determined from their number. Mr. Rubens Peale informed me, that
a female of _Crotalus horridus_, Beauv. _durissus_, Daud. which
lived in his Museum more than fourteen years, had eleven joints to
her rattle when first in his possession; that several joints were
acquired and lost annually, and that at her death, which occurred
last year, she had the same number as when brought to the Museum;
she had, however, during that time received an accession of four
inches to her length. Her death was occasioned by an abortion.

The _C. adamanteus_, Beauvois. _Rhombifer_, Daud. is by much the
largest of our North American serpents, and doubtless is the
species which Catesby saw a specimen of, eight feet long.

_Crotalus miliarius_ varies in some characters from those laid
down by authors. A specimen within my view has five dorsal series,
of alternate, irregularly orbicular black spots, those of the
intermediate series are obsolete, and slightly connected across
the back, those of the vertebral series have not red centres,
and are edged with a white line; the ventral spots are disposed
adventitiously, so as not to be traced into longitudinal series;
they are large, black, irregularly orbicular, and occupy about one
half of the surface, which is white. Ventral plates 140; subcaudal,
33, of which the six terminal ones are bifid. Joints of the rattle
with but one transverse contraction on the middle of each, besides
the terminal contraction. Total length 1 foot 4¼ inches, tail two
inches. It appears to be more vindictive than the two species
before mentioned. The individual here noticed we encountered in
East Florida; he struck at Mr. W. Maclure and myself successively
as we passed by him, without any previous intimation of his
presence, owing to the inaudible smallness of his rattle, and its
having but three joints; he was killed by Mr. T. Peale, (whom we
preceded) while preparing for another assault. This incident is
noted as a contrast to the anecdote of the _Coluber heterodon_.

_Salamandra alleganiensis_, Daud. appears to be synonymous with _S.
gigantea_ of Dr. Barton. It was first described by Mr. Latreille
in Deterv. Ed. of Buffon, tom. 11. The name _alleganiensis_,
although defective, as it indicates no character, has however the
unalienable right of priority.

_Salamandra subviolacea_, Barton. This name has been rejected by
Mr. Daudin, and substituted by that of _venenosa_, I do not know
for what reason, as none is assigned.

_Salamandra punctata_, Gmel. This appellation was originally given
and restricted to the _stelio_ of Catesby. tab. 10. (represented
in the bill of Ardea Herodias) and was adopted by many subsequent
authors, but was finally rejected by Daudin, who considered
the species the same as Barton's _subviolacea_. He concurred
with Mr. Latreille in appropriating the name thus rejected to
_var. β_ of _Lacerta_, _aquatica_ of Gmel. Notwithstanding this
high authority I cannot but coincide with Professor Barton in
this instance, in believing it altogether distinct. The single
character of the subocellate spots, though not remarked by this
author, is a sufficiently discriminative one; these ocellæ are
always present, and in no one of the varieties I have seen has
the approximation to the _subviolacea_ been so considerable as to
render a specific discrepance equivocal. Catesby's variety with
the ocellæ on the tail seems to be the least common; in general
these spots, or epupillate ocellæ, are exclusively confined to a
line on each side of the back, about six in each, extending from
the base of the head to the origin of the tail, though there are
sometimes scattered smaller ones on each side of the body, and upon
the vertex of the head, they are of a beautiful reddish colour,
enclosed by a definite black areola; the upper part of the body
is brownish, with numerous, distant black points, and a slight
vertebral, obtuse carina, the inferior surface of the body of a
fine yellow or orange, with distant black points, the tail[37] is
compressed, ancipital, attenuated to an obtuse tip, longer than
the body, and punctured with black in like manner. The younger
specimens vary considerably, in being, on many parts of the body,
destitute of black punctures, and in having the dorsal and ventral
colour, of the same pale orange. It is decidedly aquatic. Several
specimens are preserved in the collection of the Academy of Natural
Sciences, and from these it is evident that the reddish colour of
the subocellate spots is destroyed by the action of the antiseptic
liquid; to this circumstance it is probably owing that these spots
have been hitherto described as white.

After stating these differential traits, it may be proper to
observe, that the _S. maculata_ of Shaw is synonymous with the
above. But I think it most proper to restore Gmelin's name
_punctata_, which will afford an opportunity to do justice to the
memory of Laurenti, by reviving the original name by which he
distinguished the _Var. β. of Lacerta_, _aquatica_, Gmel., that of

_Bufo cornuta._ This animal, which has been stigmatized as
the most prodigiously deformed _creature_ known to exist!! is
generally supposed to inhabit North America as well as Surinam.
I do not think it has ever been found in North America. Shaw, in
Nodder's Nat. Misc. says it is principally found in Virginia, but
in his General Zoology, I think he says that Seba was in error
when he represented its native country to be North America. Two
other species of _Bufo_ have been correctly stated to inhabit
this country, viz. _B. musicus_, and _Crapaud rougeâtre_, Daud.
(B. rubidus) first noticed as distinct by Mr. William Bartram. I
discovered a third species on the banks of St. John's river, East
Florida, which, as I am not at present prepared to describe, I
shall not surreptitiously name.

It is, I conceive, an incumbent duty on the describer of a natural
object, to deposit his specimen, or a duplicate, when practicable,
in some cabinet or museum, to which he should refer, in order
that subsequent writers may be satisfied with the accuracy of his
observations, by examining for themselves. By such reference, and
by the re-examination of the same objects by others, the plethoric
redundance of synonyma, that prolific source of accumulating error,
will be banished or elucidated, and naturalists will most readily
arrive at the knowledge of truth, which is, or ought to be, the
grand leading object of their labours.


ART. XI. _Outline of a Theory of Meteors._

_By_ WM. G. REYNOLDS, M.D. _Middletown Point, New-Jersey_.

Should the progress of science, for a century to come, keep
pace with its rapid advancement for the last fifty years, many
appearances in the physical world, now enveloped in obscurity, will
then admit of as easy solution as the combustion of inflammable
substances, or any familiar process in chemistry does at this
day. Among the many subjects from which the veil of mystery would
thus be raised, we may include those luminous appearances, in the
aerial regions, called meteors, which I am about to consider in the
following essay; and which seem to constitute a distinct class of
bodies of considerable variety.

Meteors were regarded by the ancients as the sure prognostics
of great and awful events in the moral and physical world; and
were divided by them into several species, receiving names
characteristic of the various forms and appearances they assumed;
but of their opinions, as to the physical cause of these phenomena,
the ancients have left us nothing solid or instructive. The
moderns, more enlightened, have ceased to regard these bodies with
the superstitious awe of former ages; but in respect to the cause
thereof, are perhaps but little in advance of their predecessors,
having, I believe, produced nothing yet that will bear the test of
philosophical investigation.

Doctor Blagden (Philosophical Transactions, 1784,) considers
electricity as the general cause of these phenomena; Doctor
Gregory, and others, think they depend upon collections of highly
inflammable matter, as phosphorus, phosphorated hydrogen, &c. being
volatilized and congregated in the upper regions of the air.
Doctor Halley ascribes them to a fortuitous concourse of atoms,
which the earth meets in her annual track through the ecliptic;
and Sir John Pringle seems to regard them as bodies of a celestial
character, revolving round centres, and intended by the Creator
for wise and beneficent purposes, perhaps to our atmosphere, to
free it of noxious qualities, or supply such as are salutary. Many
other theories, as ingenious as fanciful, might be enumerated; but
without commenting on their comparative merit, I must acknowledge
that none of them have yet impressed my mind with a conviction of
their truth. A series of observations, however, have enabled the
moderns to ascertain, with apparent accuracy, several particulars
relative to these stupendous bodies, which add much to our
knowledge of their general character:--their velocity, equal to
30, and even 40 miles in a second of time; their altitude, from 20
to 100 miles; and their diameter, in some instances, more than a
mile, are facts we derive from respectable authority, and may aid
us, essentially, in forming just conceptions of their nature and

I believe meteoric stones to result from all meteoric explosions;
limiting, however, the term meteor to those phenomena, in the
higher regions of the air, denominated fire-balls, shooting-stars,
&c. That these bodies move in a resisting medium, must be
evident to every attentive observer; and that this medium is our
atmosphere, is pretty certain, 1st. Because we know of no other
resisting medium round the earth; 2dly. Because the same kind of
resistance is apparent at every intermediate altitude, from their
greatest to their least, which last we know to be far within our
atmospheric bounds; and, 3dly. Calculation has, in no instance,
assigned them an elevation beyond the probable height of the

That meteors proceed from the earth, that they arise from certain
combinations of its elements with heat, and that meteoric
stones are the necessary result of the decompositions of these
combinations, are opinions I will endeavour to support, by the
following considerations.

1st. The properties and habitudes of matter, under certain
conditions and combinations.

2dly. The situation of the earth's surface in respect to the sun,
the influence of his rays thereon, and the nature of the elements
or compounds on which these rays act:

And 3dly. The identity that exists between the component parts of
meteoric stones, and the elements that enter abundantly into the
composition of our globe; and, by several other facts and arguments.

Under my first general specification, I will select such principles
from the established doctrines of philosophy, as have an immediate
bearing on the subject; without engaging in any of those subtle
speculations in which certain recondite properties of matter, or
the identities of quality and body are affirmed or denied.

Thus, 1st. Heat is the universal cause of fluidity and volatility
in bodies; hence no solid can assume the state of gas, until it
absorbs, or unites with, a certain portion of caloric; and the
subtilty and volatility of compounds thus formed, will be in a due
ratio to the quantity of caloric they employ.

2dly. The heat employed to maintain a body in the gaseous state,
is said to be latent or fixed, and may be regarded as an ocean or
atmosphere of fire, holding the ultimate particles of the body in a
state of extreme division, and wide separation, from which they can
be driven only by some change in the affinities or condition of the

3dly. If the latent heat in a gaseous compound be suddenly
abstracted, as in explosion, its escape is attended with the
emission of light and sensible heat, when the volatilized particles
held in solution being no longer able to maintain the state of gas,
suffer approximation in a due proportion to the quantity of caloric
they have lost.

4thly. Caloric, in reducing solids to the state of gas, lessens,
but cannot in any case, as far as we know, totally destroy their
gravitating force; the diminution of this force, however, being
in a direct proportion to the quantity of heat employed.--Hence
the following inferences may be fairly drawn, as they seem to
be in unison with the relative dependence and harmony existing
between the material elements of this globe, and, I believe, are
contradicted by no direct experiments; viz. that the expansion of
volume, specific levity, and subtilty of artificial gases, are in a
direct proportion to the absolute quantity of caloric they employ;
and the caloric is in the same proportion to the insolubility of
the substance with which it unites.

5thly. When the specific gravity of bodies on the surface of the
earth, is reduced below that of the superincumbent atmosphere, they
ascend to media of their own density, in obedience to the laws of
Aerostatics; thus we raise balloons by filling them with light air,
and the carbon of pit coal and common wood exposed to combustion,
and water to the sun's rays, will rise until they reach a medium of
like specific gravity with themselves.

6thly. Mechanical agitation and division assist the solution of
solids, by bringing fresh portions of the menstruum into successive
contact with their fragments, and thus exposing a larger surface.

Under the second head I proceed to notice the situation of the
earth's surface in respect to the sun, &c. The atmosphere is
a thin, elastic, gravitating fluid, that completely envelopes
the earth, to which it may be considered a kind of appendage or
external covering; its base resting on the earth's surface, is of
an uniform density, growing rare as it recedes therefrom, in a due
ratio to the diminution of its gravitating force, until it is lost
in empty space. The atmosphere is estimated on certain data to be
about 44 or 45 miles high, but we have good reasons to believe it
fills a much wider circle, though too thin to reflect the rays of
light above its reputed height.

The earth presents one whole hemisphere to the sun in unerring
daily succession; and those parts of it which have the least
protection against his rays, will, cæteris paribus, suffer the
greatest intensity of their action. Within the tropics, the
atmosphere opposes less resistance to the sun's rays than in the
temperate zones; and in both large tracts of cultivated land,
the summits and sides of great ranges of mountains, margin of
oceans, rivers, &c. present an almost naked surface to their
influence.[38] The exterior strata of the earth, and especially the
more exposed parts thereof, envelope in their compounds, elements
of an identity of character with those composing meteoric stones.

The atmosphere is the great recipient of all volatilized bodies;
it possesses but feebly the powers of a solvent, unaided by heat
or moisture, but when these are adjuvants, no body in nature can
totally resist their action for a long time.

Now if the above principles are admitted, we have in their
application a reasonable solution of most meteoric phenomena.
Thus, the rays of the sun darting through the atmosphere reach
the surface of the earth, where, by accumulation, they produce
sensible heat, which though not intense, is steady and uniform, for
many hours every day; minute portions of the earthy and metallic
compounds exposed to the sun's influence, will be volatilized by
the absorption of heat, and thereby assuming the state of elastic
fluids, will ascend until they arrive at media of their own
density. The atmosphere in contact, will have some of its particles
blended in these compounds, will ascend with them, and to supply
the vacuum, new portions of air will rush in and ascend, and the
process will continue until the sun's rays are withdrawn, or
interrupted by some of the common occurrences of nature.

The utmost height to which these elastic fluids ascend, may be
estimated at something more than one hundred miles; and they float
at every intermediate distance between their greatest elevation
and the clouds, but rarely below the latter, except their course
is directed towards the earth in their explosions. They probably
ascend at first in small daily detached portions of gaseous
clouds, and are diffused over wide regions; but having no sensible
resistance opposed to their mutual attraction, they will by the
laws of their affinities congregate into immense volumes of highly
concentrated elastic fluids, which on exploding will exhibit all
the phenomena of bursting meteors in the following manner, viz.
the latent heat on escaping will manifest itself in the form of
fire and light, the force with which it strikes the atmosphere,
or the rebound of the latter to fill the vacuum, or both, will
occasion sound more or less detonating or hissing, as the escape is
more sudden, or the atmosphere more dense; the earthy and metallic
particles on the escape of caloric, will obey the laws of cohesive
attraction, clash together, recover their gravity, and descend to
the earth in masses, or shattered fragments.

Meteoric stones frequently bear the marks of violence, which
is doubtless owing to the conflict sustained at the moment of
explosion; their difference in size depends on the difference
of magnitude in the disploding volumes; something like regular
arrangement is frequently perceived in the structure of these
stones, because in all productions of solid from fluid matter, the
consolidating particles possess a tendency to arrange themselves in
the order of their affinities. It is thus the various arrangements
in saline crystallization, the freezing of water, and cooling of
melted metals, may be accounted for. There is a real, as well as an
apparent difference in the velocity of meteoric bodies; the first
arising from their difference of magnitude and the violence of the
explosion, as well as from the resistance they meet; the latter,
from the different distances at which they are seen. The gradation
of colour, from a bright silvery hue to a dusky red, is owing,
in a certain degree, to the state of the atmosphere refracting
different coloured rays, and also to the materials in the compound,
similar to the different hues in artificial fireworks. Reddish and
white nebicula are sometimes left in the tracks of meteors, which
are nothing but ignited vapours, or the particles brushed off the
burning body by the resisting atmosphere. The velocity or motion
and direction of meteors, depend upon principles well known and
daily practised by engineers, and the constructors of fireworks.

The immediate cause of these explosions is a little obscure, and
merits a fuller detail than is compatible with my present limits;
their analogy to the electric phenomena in the clouds, leaves
room to suppose they are effected by certain modifications of
electricity. Clouds of opposite electricities will approach each
other and explode, by the positive imparting as much electrical
fire to the negative cloud as will make them equal, when just as
much water as the imparted fire held in solution, will be set at
liberty and descend to the earth. If, however, this solution be
deemed inapplicable, perhaps the following may be admitted. Thus,
when heat is urged upon incombustible[39] bodies with a force
that overcomes the cohesive property by which their particles
are tied together, it unites with them in large quantities, and
becomes latent, by which union they are reduced to the state of
elastic fluids; and as it is a universal property of heat to
counteract the gravitating force of bodies, these compounds must
necessarily become volant, and ascend as above stated. It is only
thermometrical or sensible heat, that destroys the attraction of
cohesion existing between the particles of bodies, the repulsive
power of latent heat being barely able to counteract this property,
when the elements under its dominion are removed beyond a certain
distance from each other; now the very reduced temperature in the
high regions to which these gaseous clouds will ascend, may admit
their earthy and metallic particles within the sphere of cohesive
or aggregative attraction, when the caloric will be expelled like
water from a sponge, accompanied by all the phenomena above stated.

The third general head of my subject leads me to inquire into the
constituent principles of meteoric stones: sundry papers on the
analysis of these productions, have been furnished us by chemists
of acknowledged reputation and ability, and in none of these that
I have seen, was there any element described that had not been
previously known. But should it hereafter be found that air stones
contain matters not found on our globe, the fact will afford no
absolute proof of the foreign origin of these stones, as we are
successively discovering earthy and metallic principles of distinct
characters from those already known.

A portion of one of these stones that fell in the town of Weston,
(Connecticut) examined by the late Dr. Woodhouse, gave the
following results in a hundred parts, viz.

  Silex        50
  Iron         27
  Sulphur       7
  Magnesia     10
  Nickel        1 inferred from chemical tests.
  Loss          5

"The sulphur was seen by the naked eye distributed through the
silex in round globules the size of a pin's head, after dissolving
the powdered stone in diluted nitric acid."

All specimens of these stones do not afford precisely similar
results, but differ in their constituent elements and relative
proportions; their component parts, however, are to be found
abundantly in schist, schorl, pyrites, pebble, granite, &c. on
which the sun must daily act.

The following facts go to strengthen the above theory, viz.
Meteors are most frequent and stupendous in tropical countries,
where the heat of the sun is most intense; and less frequent in
our climate in the winter and spring, while, and after the earth
has been covered with snow for many weeks in succession; and they
are most frequent in the higher latitudes towards autumn, after
a continuation of hot dry weather: out of the whole number (179)
of shooting stars I have noted during the last twelve years, 149
appeared between June and December, inclusive.

If it be said that the specific gravity of meteoric stones being
several times that of water, it is absurd to suppose they can rise,
(if even reduced to the state of gas) to the elevated stations here
assigned them, seeing the vapours of water can ascend only one or
two miles above the earth. To this I reply, that the doctrine of
heat is not yet so thoroughly understood, as to acquaint us with
all its habitudes with natural bodies, but we infer from analogy,
that the more refractory a body is in the fire, the greater in
a due ratio is the absolute quantity of heat required to reduce
it to, and retain it in, the state of gas, and the greater, in
a corresponding degree, will be the dilatation of its particles
and decrease of its specific gravity. Hence, if water reduced to
vapour by heat, be capable of assuming an altitude of two miles, it
follows that more refractory substances reduced to a similar state,
will suffer expansion and fugacity in a due proportion to the
quantity of caloric they employ, and will assume a corresponding
elevation, as already inferred under my first head.

Another objection may be, that though high degrees of heat affect
certain solids as above stated, yet these cannot be sensibly acted
on by such feeble agents as atmospheric air and the rays of the
sun. I answer, if it be admitted that sensible heat acts on solids
in an increasing ratio to its intensity, it follows that lower
degrees, though acting in an inverse ratio to higher, must affect
the same bodies in a conceivable degree at any temperature above
their natural zero:[40] and though the heat of the sun beating on
a plane surface for several hours is feeble, compared with that
produced by a burning lens, or air furnace, yet if it be sufficient
to detach from one square foot of the earth's surface the 104023
part of a grain in twenty-four hours, the quantity taken from 100
square miles, in the same time and proportion, would amount to ten
pounds, which is abundantly sufficient for all meteoric phenomena;
and the loss to each square foot, supposing the process to be
uninterrupted, would be no more than one grain in 284 years. When
we advert to the intense heat produced by concentrating a few of
the sun's rays in a burning lens, the whole quantity daily sent
to the earth must strike us forcibly. If collected in a lens of
sufficient magnitude, they might volatilize a space equal to the
state of New-York in a moment of time! As all bodies possess a
limited capacity for heat, does it not follow that there must be
some outlet to its perpetual accession to our globe, or the earth
would soon become so highly ignited as to glow with the fulgour of
a meteor? And may not this outlet be found in the above described
compounds? which serve as conductors of the surplus of heat from
the earth to the higher regions of the air, where on being freed
by displosion, from the grosser matters incumbering it, it finds
a rapid passage to its great archetype and parent, the SUN. Thus
his daily waste may be restored, and an equilibrium, by the return
of his own emanated particles, preserved, between the sun and the
earth, and probably all the planets of our system.

The last consideration I shall offer in favour of the domestic or
earthly origin of meteoric phenomena, is the difficulties that
present to our granting them a foreign one. Though I am well aware
of the respectability of the names which the theory of moonstones
can summon to its support, yet I have always regarded it as
unfounded and unphilosophical for the following reasons, viz. 1st.
Whether the moon has an atmosphere or not, we will all admit that
she has attraction, which must extend to many thousands of miles
from her surface. No projectile force that we are acquainted with
can throw a heavy body 100 miles, even though no atmospheric,
or other resistance than its own gravity, were present; hence
the idea of that force extending to thousands of miles from the
moon's surface, is gratuitous and nugatory. 2dly. The products of
volcanoes bear no similarity of origin, or kindred resemblance to
meteoric stones; those are lavas of different kinds, pumicestone,
scoria, ashes, &c. these solid masses of matter, with some degree
of regularity in the arrangement of their constituent particles.
3dly. The descent of these stones has no coincidence in point of
time with the position of the moon. She is as often in their nadir
as their zenith. We also witness in all cases, explosion and light
in our own atmosphere, at the time of the descent of these stones.
This could not be the case if they proceeded from the moon, for
obvious reasons. 4thly. The heat adequate to such projectile force
as would carry a body from the moon's surface beyond the sphere of
her attraction, would volatilize the matter of meteoric stones in a
moment; hence they would not be projected from the Lunarian crater
in solid masses, but in elastic vapour.

In conclusion, although the theory which I have endeavoured to
elucidate and establish, be subject to some difficulties and
objections which science may hereafter remove, it appears to me
perfectly consonant with the relative dependence and harmony of our
system, and by no means at variance with the infinite wisdom and
power by which it was originated.

ART. XII. _Observations upon the prevailing Currents of Air in
the State of Ohio and the Regions of the West, by_ CALEB ATWATER,
_Esq. of Circleville, Ohio; in Letters addressed to His Excellency
De Witt Clinton, LL. D. Governor of the State of New-York, and
President of the Literary and Philosophical Society_.

(Communicated for the American Journal of Science, &c.)

  _Circleville, Ohio, July 23, 1818._


With pleasure, I acknowledge the receipt of the circular letter
bearing date the 5th instant, which you addressed to me, for which
you will be pleased to accept my warmest acknowledgments for
yourself personally, and the Philosophical Society of which you are
the president. To answer all the questions which are put to me in
that letter, is not at present within my limited means, either as
it respects the leisure or the ability. I shall therefore, at this
time, confine myself to "observations upon the prevailing currents
of air in the state of Ohio."[41] These observations will be wholly
founded on personal experience, during the four years in which I
have traversed this state, from Lake Erie to the Ohio river, whilst
attending on the several courts, in all seasons and in all the
changes of weather.

The prevailing currents of air, one of which generally obtains in
Ohio, are three.

The first comes from the Mexican Gulf, ascending the Mississippi
and its larger tributary branches quite to their very sources.

The second proceeds from the back of mountains to the west,
descends the Missouri to its mouth, and then spreads over a vast
extent of country.

The third comes down the great northern and northwestern lakes to
the south end of Lake Michigan and the southern shore of Lake Erie,
where it spreads over the region of country lying to the south of

That current of air which comes from the Mexican Gulf, is warmer,
and perhaps more moist, than any other which prevails here. After a
few days prevalence, it uniformly brings rain along with it. That
this current of air should be very warm may be readily conceived,
when we reflect that it comes from a hot tropical region; and
that it should be very moist, excites no surprise, when it is
considered, that in its passage upwards it passes wholly over
water, and through the warm mists and fogs constantly ascending
from the Mississippi and its tributaries. This current prevails
much more along the Ohio river than it does at any considerable
distance from it. One consequence is, that the climate in the
immediate vicinity of the Ohio river is warmer, than it is either
north or south of it, unless you go to the southward a considerable
distance. Other causes may, and probably do, in a greater or less
degree, contribute to produce this result, and I will here state

First, The Ohio runs on a surface less elevated above the sea than
the country, either north or south of it, but this difference
is trifling through the whole of the sandstone formation. This
formation prevails from the head of the Ohio to Aberdeen, which
is opposite to Marysville in Kentucky, at least two-thirds of the
distance which that river washes the southern shore of this state.
The reason is obvious, because there are no falls in a sandstone

Another cause which contributes to produce a warmer climate,
especially in the winter season, in the valley of the Ohio, is,
that several considerable streams which empty themselves into the
Ohio, have their sources on the highlands, a great distance to the
south of it; for instance, the Great and Little Sandy, and the
Great and Little Kenhawa, which descending from a warm region of
country, their waters contribute to keep the Ohio open in winter.

But these causes are by no means sufficient to produce the one half
of the comparative warmth of climate observable in the immediate
vicinity of this invaluable river. To prove that the climate is
much milder in the southern than in the northern part of this
state, I will proceed to mention several facts, which have fallen
under my own observation.

In the latter part of last February I was at the town of Delaware,
on the Whetstone Branch of the Scioto river, between eighty and
ninety miles south of Lake Erie, and twenty-five miles north of
Columbus, the seat of government, which is near the centre of the
state, where I saw a number of gentlemen direct from Detroit,
by the way of Lower Sandusky, who informed me that the snow at
that time was eighteen inches in depth and upwards all along the
lake shore, but gradually decreased as they came south until
they arrived at Delaware. At that place it was then about twelve
inches deep in the open fields, and somewhat deeper in the woods.
I descended the road along the Whetstone to Columbus, the snow
decreasing in depth all the way as I proceeded. At Columbus it
wholly disappeared in the fields, and only ice was found in the
road, which also decreased until I came to the Big Walnut Creek,
thirteen miles south of Columbus, where it disappeared, and the
road began to be muddy. As I still proceeded south, the mud
increased in depth until I came to Chillicothe, about thirty-two
miles south of Big Walnut, where the frost was entirely out of
the ground, and the roads were almost impassable. As I still
descended southward, along the Scioto, I found that at Piketon,
on the Scioto, nineteen miles south of Chillicothe, the road had
considerably improved. I proceeded onwards to Portsmouth on the
Ohio river, at the mouth of the Scioto, about twenty-six miles
south of Piketon, where the ground was entirely settled, and the
innkeeper, where I lodged, was making his garden, sowing his
sallad seed, and planting his peas. This journey was performed in
three days, and in travelling only one hundred and fifteen miles
from north to south, this extraordinary difference of climate was

A traveller may leave Portsmouth when the farmer is beginning
to hoe his corn the first time, and travel with good speed to
Delaware, and find the husbandman just beginning to plant.

Instances which have fallen within my own personal observation
might be multiplied to a great extent, but a few may suffice.

Generally speaking, there is a difference in the beginning and
ending of the warm season of about two weeks between Portsmouth
and Delaware, or of three weeks between the former place and Lower

In relation to the warmth of the climate, I will state two other
facts, originating, as I believe, in the prevalence of the southern
current of air from the Mexican Gulf along the Ohio river.

First, In the summer months the paroquet ascends the Scioto more
than one hundred miles from its mouth, and until within a few
years past, wintered at Miller's Bottom, and at other places along
the banks of the Ohio, near its great southern bend in latitude
38° north, in Gallia and Lawrence counties, in the state of Ohio.
I have seen them there in all the winter months in considerable
numbers, but few however now winter there; and probably if the
cold northwestern current of air from the great lakes becomes more
and more prevalent in the winter months, these birds will migrate
altogether to a more southern clime.

Are these birds found as far to the north on the east side of
the Alleghany by at least three degrees? Monsieur Volney, Mr.
Jefferson, and others, say not. It has been denied that this fact
proves any thing more than that this bird frequented these parts
in quest of its favourite food. This food is grass and other
vegetable matter in summer, and the cockle bur, and the balls of
button-wood, or, as by a perversion of language, it is called in
this country sycamore.[42] But this bird may find its favourite
food as well east as west of the Alleghanies. The grasses and trees
alluded to, flourish as I have observed in forty-five degrees of
north latitude, and I am credibly informed that they are abundant
as far north as Quebec, and even around Hudson's Bay. Wherever
waters run and trees grow on their banks, (if low and wet,) on
the American continent, even as high as eighty degrees of north
latitude, there the paroquet may find its food in abundance.

Another fact tending to establish the same point is, that the
reed cane, before this country was much settled, grew in a higher
latitude by several degrees on this than it did on the other side
of the Alleghany mountains. It has indeed been said, that this
cane was never found north of the Ohio, nor above the mouth of
the Big Sandy River, which empties into the Ohio, on the line
which separates Virginia and Kentucky. This however is incorrect;
for within a few years it was growing in abundance at Miller's
Bottom, twenty-six miles above the mouth of Big Sandy. It grew at
Lancaster, on the Hockhocking, northward of the mouth of the Big
Sandy, in a direct line, at least one hundred and fifty miles, and
it now grows on the Whetstone branch of the Scioto, more than two
degrees of latitude above the lowest bend of the Ohio, which is at
the mouth of the Big Sandy. Before the white people settled there,
I have every reason to believe, that the cane grew in great plenty
at Delaware, where there are more signs of buffaloes than at any
other place within my knowledge. It has been conjectured, that the
seed of the cane was brought down and scattered by the Big Sandy;
but granting this, in what way could that stream carry this seed
up the Hockhocking and Scioto to their sources? to places several
hundred feet above the highest freshes ever known in this country?
With a knowledge of these facts, cast your eye at the map of Ohio.
Proofs within my reach might be multiplied to a much greater
extent, but they are probably unnecessary.

But another current of air prevails here, especially in the cold
months, coming from the mouth of the Missouri, which is a little
to the south of west of this place. This current is colder than
the preceding one, and though moist, yet not as much so as the one
already described. It prevails generally in October and November,
before our warm weather is over, and produces frosts and a chilly
dampness, and what I have observed nowhere else, especially on the
east side of the Alleghanies, it produces a kind of faintness at
the breast.

People of delicate habits, coming here from the northern and
eastern states, uniformly complain of this faintness. It is not
perhaps extraordinary that this current of air should be cold,
proceeding as it does from a high northern latitude, along the
great chain of rocky mountains in the northwest; that it should be
moist, and perhaps also that it should affect the animal economy
unpleasantly, may possibly be attributed to its passing such a
length of way over the waters of the Missouri, and the wet prairies
and barrens lying so extensively between us and the head waters of
that stream. The luxuriant vegetation which covers these prairies
and barrens at that season of the year, begins to putrefy, and
fills with unhealthy exhalations every gale of wind which passes
over them.

At the mouth of this river (Missouri,) which is in about latitude
38° north, this current of air is extremely cold in the winter
months. It diverges from this point, and produces extreme cold
at a considerable distance to the south of it on the Mississippi
river. General Rector, the present surveyor general of the United
States, who keeps his office at St. Louis, informs, that he has
known the Mississippi at St. Genevieve, in latitude about 37°,
so firmly covered with ice in one night, as to be able to bear
horses and cattle the ensuing day. This circumstance must have been
owing to the sudden change of the current of air from south to the
northwest, descending the Missouri river from the cold regions at
its sources.

From several gentlemen, residents for many years in Illinois and
Missouri Territories, I have been informed, that changes of weather
in that region of country are, especially in winter, very frequent
and great; that one day the moist south wind from the Mexican gulf
will prevail, and produce quite warm and mild weather for the
season; on the very next, or frequently in the latter part of the
same, the current of air from the sources of the Missouri will
prevail, and block up the streams with ice.

There is a third current of air which prevails during our winter
months, more and more, annually, as the country becomes cleared of
its forests in the direction alluded to; it proceeds from the great
lakes to the northwest of us, and even beyond them. Proceeding as
it does from the north and northwest of lake Superior, and crossing
the great expanse of water in this direction, it rushes down these
great lakes to the south end of lake Michigan in latitude about
41° north, diverges from that point, and spreads over the immense
regions lying to the south, where the air is more rarefied by
reason of its warmer climate. This current of air brings along with
it intense cold, and extended last winter even to New-Orleans,
where the snow fell to such a depth, that sleighs were seen passing
in every part of the city. The more the forests are cleared away
between any place in this country and the northern lakes, the more
this cold current of air will prevail. This current also diverges
from the southern shore of Lake Erie, but is not so strong as
that part of it which diverges from the south end of Michigan,
and of course does not extend as far to the south. When this part
of this state was first settled, this current of air was hardly
felt at this place, and then only for a short time in the winter
months, and hardly ever reached the Ohio river; but last winter it
continued three weeks at one time, and produced good sleighing;
and also caused rheumatisms, pleurisies, peripneumonies, &c. which
proved mortal to some. In this place, which is in latitude about
39° 20′ north, the thermometer of Fahrenheit, hanging in an entry
of a dwelling-house with closed doors, sunk to 24 degrees below
zero. This extreme cold may be attributed to general, rather than
to local causes, and it may be said that the winters all over the
world have been colder of late years than formerly. But on the very
day, when it was thus cold, (if newspapers can be believed) a great
number of vessels put to sea from Reedy Island in the Delaware
below Philadelphia, and about thirty sail of vessels went to sea
from New-York harbour.

All our streams were at the same time bridged with ice of great
firmness as well as thickness, and continued to be so for a
considerable time afterward, until the warmer current of air from
the south prevailed over the current from the lakes. It will be
proper, and may be necessary, here to state, that the latitudes of
several places in this country are very different from what you
would be led to believe from examining any map or chart now or ever
in existence. For instance, Lake Michigan extends farther south
than Fort Wayne, which place by actual survey is in this state; St.
Louis is not 38°, and the most southern point or bend of the Ohio
river, is not more than latitude 38° north. I state merely what I
am informed of by those who have ascertained these facts by actual
observation and survey. The place opposite the mouth of the Big
Sandy, is nearly as for south as Lexington in Kentucky. The south
end of Michigan lake ought to be laid down on the map 41° north.
Prevailing currents of air (not every breath of air which moves
over the surface) I have attempted to describe. It may be well
enough, however, to mention some other currents which sometimes
prevail for a few days. And here I will mention what our oldest
settlers along the Ohio have observed, that is, that whenever in
a dry time, there is a current of air proceeding down the river
for three or four days in succession, the current from the Gulf of
Mexico is sure to drive it back with redoubled force, and after
blowing a day or two, it is equally sure to bring rain with it. It
is easy to assign a cause for it; for meeting the trade winds in
the Gulf, it is driven back with redoubled violence to the sources
of the larger streams which empty themselves into the Gulf.

When a thunder storm, proceeding in either a western or eastern
direction, as the case may be, happens to strike a large
water-course running either north or south, and when also there
happens to be a large branch emptying into the stream, within a few
miles either above or below the point where the storm approaches
it, I have uniformly observed the storm to cross the large stream
at the point where the large branch unites with it, and ascend the
branch. Where there are two large tributaries about equi-distant
from the point of approach, the storm frequently divides and
follows each of them. The reason why it should be so, this is not
the place to discuss; but the Wisdom and Goodness which so ordered
it, are too apparent to every rational mind to be overlooked. It
may be asked if the difference in latitude and elevation between
the Ohio and lake regions of country, does not produce a great
difference in the climates of those respective regions? These
causes certainly produce some difference, but not all. It is my
object to establish facts, rather than any favourite theory. The
difference of latitude between the Ohio river at the mouth of the
Scioto, and lake Erie at the mouth of the Maume or Sandusky, is
nearly three degrees, and the difference of elevation above the
sea is trifling, if any. From the mouth of the Scioto to Columbus,
about 90 miles in a direct line, the water, where there is what is
commonly called a _ripple_, runs briskly, and these ripples happen,
perhaps, one to a mile; but they are in a sandstone region, and the
fall of course is trifling.

Let us suppose then, that the river Scioto descends one hundred
feet from the mouth of the Whetstone, which empties into that river
at Columbus, to the Ohio, and that the Whetstone which runs through
a limestone formation, descends another hundred feet, which would
make Upper Sandusky two hundred feet higher than the Ohio river.
From this highest ground between the Ohio and the lake, it is a
well-known fact, that the land descends towards the north much
more in a given distance, than it does towards the south, and the
distance is not half as far. The Maume and other streams putting
into the lake, are full of rapids. Admitting for argument's sake,
that the Sandusky or Maume descend only 100 feet, then the surface
of the lake is 100 feet higher than the Ohio river. Would three
degrees of latitude, and 100 feet greater elevation produce three
weeks difference in the seasons? Is there that difference between
Baltimore in Maryland, and Wilkesbarre in Pennsylvania? Is there
that difference between New-York and Fort Edward on the Hudson? It
is believed that there is not one half that difference.

I have referred but little to thermometers, because they are kept
in so many different situations by their owners, that I have known
no less than 8 degrees of difference between several of them kept
in one town, within almost a stone's throw of each other, at one
and the same moment of time.

Every allowance being made for other causes, I am still of the
opinion that the difference in the climates of the Ohio and lake
regions of country, is to be attributed chiefly to the prevalence
of different currents of air. The southern current rarely, if ever,
reaches the northern lakes, and the northern, until lately, never
reached the Gulf of Mexico. But as the country is cleared of its
native forests, we may reasonably conclude this cold current of
air will prevail more and more, until we shall have snow enough
for sleighs, at least two months in every winter; the summers will
be shorter, the extremes of heat and cold will be greater than at
present, and those clouds which formerly obscured the sun almost
continually during the summer months, will be chased away, and
with them the pale cheek, the sallow hue, the oppression at the
breast, and the difficulty of respiration, the headache, and the
thousand ills which many of the first emigrants have experienced in
our climate. We shall probably then have fewer diseases, and more
acute ones. The storms will probably be fewer, more severe, and not
continue as long as at present. There are still further views which
might be taken of this subject, but they are left to abler pens and
future observations.

Thus I have endeavoured to give my opinion on a subject of some
interest to the present, as well as future generations; in doing
which, I have not sought for flowers which might have been gathered
by stepping out of my path, but the _fruit_ rather of my own
observation and experience: I have not wandered through the fields
of imagination, invoking the poetic muse, but addressed myself

      "To him who soars on golden wing,
      Guiding his fiery-wheeled throne,
      The cherub contemplation."

ART. XIII. _On a singular Disruption of the Ground, apparently
by Frost, in Letters from_ EDWARD HITCHCOCK, A.M. _Principal of
Deerfield Academy_.

(With a Plate.)

  _To the Editor of the American Journal of Science, &c._


I have lately examined a singular disruption in the earth,
discovered a few days since in the northerly part of an extensive
meadow in this town, about ten rods from Deerfield river.

The soil on the spot is alluvial, consisting of a dry, rich,
vegetable mould, with a large intermixture of sand; and the field,
elevated 14 feet above the bed of the river, is annually mowed. A
valley encircles the ruptured spot on the east, south, and west,
only five feet lower, yet so marshy and soft, as to render draining
necessary to make it passable; and immediately back of this valley,
on the south, rises a hill 100 feet high, at whose foot are several
springs. North of the rupture, also, between it and the river, is a
gradual descent of three feet: indeed, the ground slopes from it on
every side except the northwest.

A fissure one inch wide and fourteen deep, forming an almost
perfect ellipsis, whose diameters are 9 and 5½ rods, marks the
exterior limit of the convulsion. Within this curve are several
others nearly concentric to it, some forming a quarter, and some
half an ellipsis, and near the longer axis are others, running in
various directions. On this transverse diameter, which lies near
the highest part of the swell above described, and in its longest
direction, or parallel to the river, the greatest effect of the
convulsion appears. The earth, to the depth it has frozen the past
winter, 14 inches, is broken on a straight line above 6 rods, and
the south edge of the fissure, having been forced up, overlaps
the other, three feet. Where one edge does not thus overreach,
the tables of earth, which at a small distance resemble masses of
ice, are raised up so that their faces form an isosceles triangle,
leaving a cavity beneath. About the extremities of the transverse
axis, is also an overlapping of two feet, which continues nearly
two rods on the curve each way from the axis, and in most places
is double, overreaching internally and externally, exhibiting
likewise, some irregularity where the compressing forces acted at
right angles to each other. The edges of these elevated masses
of earth, which are yet frozen, are quite smooth, and the angles
but little fractured. I have dug into the earth about four feet
underneath the longer axis of the ellipsis, and thrust down a bar
in other places, but cannot perceive that the soil has been moved
below where it was frozen. It is, however, not the most favourable
season for ascertaining this fact.

Every appearance on the spot will justify this conclusion, that the
frozen surface of the earth around, has pressed with great force
_from every direction_ to this ellipsis as a centre; for, were
every fissure in the ellipsis to be filled by replacing the earth,
there must remain on its longer axis and at the extremities of
this, an overplus of surface two feet wide.

The month of February last has been unusually cold. Its mean
temperature in Deerfield, by Fahrenheit's scales, is as follows.

  7_h._ A. M.     1½_h._ P. M.     10_h._ P. M.
      6°                24°                11°

The extremes were 25° below, and 49° above zero. On the last day
but one of the month, the cold suddenly relaxed; and on the 1st
and 2d of March, a heavy and warm rain succeeded. This produced
an uncommon rise in Deerfield river, and on the 3d of March, it
had overflowed the ground where the above described phenomenon
occurred, and did not recede from it for 24 hours. Its greatest
depth there, was five feet. The snow was nearly one foot deep
when the flood happened, and being a nonconductor of heat, the
temperature of the surface of the ground was not probably much
changed from its state in February, until the water came in contact
with it. It may not be amiss to give the state of the thermometer
on the last of February and beginning of March.

              7_h._ A. M.  1½_h._ P. M.  10_h._ P. M.  Wind, weather, &c.
  Feb. 27th,  15° below 0. 28° above 0.  32° above 0. South,  clear.
       28th,  31  above    45  -----     31  -----      do.     do.
  March 1st,  29  -----    46  -----     37  -----    N. E.   rain.
        2d,   46  -----    49  -----     37  -----      do.     do.
        3d,   30  -----    35  -----     29  -----      do. rain & clear.

On the third of March, about sunset, some lads were sailing near
the spot where the disruption appears, and saw the water in
considerable agitation, with much bubbling, and at short intervals
it was thrown up in several places to the height of 3 or 4 feet.
They saw no rupture in the earth, although they came within two
or three rods of the spot, and state the water to have been two
feet deep. About one o'clock on the morning of March 4th, Mr. Seth
Sheldon and family, living one mile south from this spot, and being
awake, were alarmed by a loud report from the north, by which their
house and furniture were much shaken. They compared the sound,
though louder by far than they had ever heard from this cause, to
that of a cracking in the earth by frost in severe weather. Some
others living rather nearer the spot, were awakened by the same
report. That the rupture in the earth was made at that time is
probable, though not certain.

It may be proper to state, that during the flood, no ice, except
a few loose masses, was carried over, or near the spot where the
disruption appears. This, therefore, could not have produced it.

[Illustration: Disruption of the Ground by Frost.

_N. & S. S. Jocelyn Sc. N.H._]

Fig. 1. is a transverse section, taken with a theodolite, from
Deerfield river 28 rods south, crossing the longer axis of the
disruption at right angles. The scale is 4 rods to an inch,
although in laying off the heights and levels, the exact proportion
was a little varied, to render the irregularities of surface more
distinct. The letters of reference correspond to those on fig. 2,
and need no explanation.

Fig. 2. is a bird's-eye view of the disruption and the adjoining
region, very obligingly sketched by Mr. Derick Barnard of Troy,
New-York. The surrounding country is somewhat contracted to bring
more of it into view.

These are all the facts I am able at present to collect concerning
this phenomenon. I have been particular as to the temperature
of the air, and the situation of the adjacent country, from an
idea that frost was a principal agent in producing it; and that,
therefore, these circumstances would be important in fixing a
theory. I will not, however, hazard any hypothesis on the subject;
but if you deem the fact of sufficient importance, your opinion,
Sir, is respectfully solicited.

  Your humble Servant,


  _Deerfield, Mass. March 26th, 1818._

       *       *       *       *       *

  _Deerfield, June 3d, 1818._


Since I sent you a description of a singular disruption in the
earth in this town, another has been observed in the same meadows,
about one mile from the former. This is less than the one of which
I sent you an account, but its situation is almost exactly similar;
it being on a small elevation, on the sides of which, at a few rods
distant, is low wet ground. Indeed, the _general_ description which
I sent you will answer for this smaller disruption. The diameters
of this last, are only 7 and 8 paces, and the curve is not perfect.
There appears to have been an expansion of the earth's surface
around both these spots, or disruptions, by which it was forced to
give way at the point where there was the least resistance, which,
of course, would be on the highest ground. The more I observe of
this phenomenon, the more I am inclined to impute it to the agency
of frost.

It may be proper to observe, that in neither of these disruptions
has the general mass of the hills sunk in the least. Had this
been the case, it might perhaps have accounted for them. It is
also certain, that the soil below where it was frozen the past
winter, has not been moved. I mentioned this fact in my first
communication, though with some suggested doubt.


An opinion having been requested by Mr. Hitchcock on the above
facts, it may be observed, that there appears in the statement
sufficient evidence that the phenomenon (as the author has
suggested) is attributable to frost.

It is a fact, established equally by common experience and by
numerous experiments, that water, in freezing, expands. It is
generally estimated that 8 cubic inches of water, become 9 by the
act of congealing. The expansion is attributed, with sufficient
evidence, to a crystalline arrangement arising from a kind of
polarity in the particles of water exerted when they are near
congealing, by which they attract one another in certain points,
and not in others. Dr. Black, with his usual felicity, has
illustrated this tendency, by supposing a great number of small
magnetized needles, thrust through corks, so that they will float
parallel to the surface of water, to be thrown promiscuously into
a vessel of that fluid. They will not remain in the situation in
which they are thrown in, but, in consequence of their polarity,
attractions and repulsions will be immediately exerted; they will
rush together, with a force equal to the overcoming of a certain
resistance; they will arrange themselves in pairs and groups, and
finally, in a connected assemblage.

The particles of water attract each other with a prodigious force,
when resistance is opposed; for it is well known that domestic
utensils, trees, rocks, and even cannon, and bomb-shells, are burst
with explosion, when water confined within them is frozen.

There is force enough then exerted by the expansion of freezing
water, to produce all the mechanical violence, whose effects were
so striking in the instance at Deerfield.

In the common cracking of the ground by frost, so extensively
observed in cold climates, the effect appears to result in the
following manner. The water contained in the ground, (that is, in
that part which is within the reach of a freezing temperature)
by congealing, expands and demands more space; a movement must
necessarily take place in the direction where there is the least
resistance; this will evidently be upward, because the atmosphere,
the only counteracting power in this direction, cannot resist
the expansion of the freezing water as much as it is resisted by
the earth below the freezing stratum. Consequently, the freezing
earth is forced upward, but being of unequal strength in different
places, it cracks at the weakest spot; and the earth, for some
distance on the sides of the fissure, is thrown into the position
of two planes gently inclined, their relative position resembling
that of a very flat roof, and the more they are lifted by frost,
the more they will decline from one another, and the wider will be
the fissure.

But why, in the instance which Mr. Hitchcock has related, did they
overlap? The explanation appears to result from the circumstances
of the case, as far as they can be understood without ocular
inspection of the ground.

The elevated spot which cracked in so remarkable a manner, being
nearly surrounded by a _belt_ of low wet ground, the congelation
of the water in this ground by the intense cold, would of course
produce a very great expansive effort towards the elevated ground.
This, not only on account of its elevation, but from its containing
less water, would not be able to exert an equal counteracting
effort. The surface of the ground, therefore, (without at all
disturbing the unfrozen earth below,) was, by the expansive
effort of the freezing water, _pushed along_ towards the elevated
spot. This spot being possessed of a certain power of resistance
derived from its gravity, and from the freezing of the water in
it, would not immediately give way; but the whole surface, it is
probable, gradually rose for some time, while the expansion was
going on and increasing. A cavity would thus be produced between
that superficial layer of frozen ground which was rising, and the
unfrozen ground below. This cavity would of course be filled with
air derived from the atmosphere, and from the porousness of the
ground below. When the place came to be overflowed, water would
immediately rush in through any fissure, and this hydraulic and
hydrostatic effort would force the air out at any orifice, and
thus blow the water up with it. This was probably the cause of the
agitation of the water, and of the bubbling of air, and of the
throwing up of the water at intervals, observed by the boys on the
3d of March.

The effect of the water covering the ground, would be to weaken its
cohesion derived from frost, and as there were probably hundreds of
tons of pressure, the vaulted ground, when sufficiently weakened,
gave way with a loud explosion and a violent concussion, as heard
by Mr. Sheldon's family, a few hours after the facts observed
by the boys. The parts of the arch now fallen in, (so to speak)
necessarily either overlapped, or rose in ridges, piece being
pressed against piece, as described and figured by Mr. Hitchcock.

We are indebted to this gentleman for his delineation of this
singular case.

The freezing of water, and its attendant expansion, are productive
of multiplied and very diversified phenomena upon our globe,
whether we contemplate them in the delicate spiculæ of hoarfrost,
the six-rayed stars of snow, or in the stupendous glaciers of the
Alps, and the awful icebergs of Greenland.

  _Cambridge, January 25, 1819._


  _Dear Sir_,

If the following observations are worthy of a place in your
valuable Journal, please to insert them, and oblige yours, with
real esteem,

  J. F. DANA.

ART. XIV. _On a New Form of the Electrical Battery, by_ J. F. DANA,
M. D. _Chemical Assistant in Harvard University, and Lecturer on
Chemistry and Pharmacy in Dartmouth College_.

The Electrical Battery in its common form is an unmanageable and
inconvenient apparatus. When the coated surface is comparatively
small, the instrument occupies a large space, and it cannot be
readily removed from place to place without much trouble and risk;
the apparatus is, moreover, very expensive, and when one of the
jars is broken, another of the same dimensions cannot readily be
found to supply its place.

It occurred to me, that a Battery might be constructed of plates
of glass and sheets of tinfoil, in which the same extent of coated
surface should occupy a much smaller space, and consequently
that the apparatus would be more convenient and more portable. I
selected several panes of glass, the surfaces of which coincided
closely with each other, and then arranged them with sheets of
tinfoil in this order, viz. pane of glass, sheet of tinfoil, then
another pane of glass, then a second sheet of tinfoil, and so on;
the sheets of foil being smaller than the plates of glass by two
inches all around; the glass being 10 by 12, and the foil 6 by 8.
This apparatus contained six plates of tinfoil, and the lowest
plate being numbered _one_, was connected with the ground, and by
slips of tinfoil passing over the edges, with the _third_ plate,
and this, in like manner with the _fifth_. The _second_ plate was
connected with the _fourth_, and this with the _sixth_, which
communicated with the conductor of the machine; in this manner each
plate positively electrified will be opposed by one negatively
electrified, and vice versa; the 6th, 4th, and 2d plates positive,
and the 5th, 3d, and 1st, negative. Into this apparatus I could
introduce a powerful charge, but not possessing a battery of the
common form, could not make comparative experiments. The annexed
figures will explain the construction of this apparatus.

(See Plate.)

[Illustration: D^r. J. F. Dana's Electrical Battery.]

Fig. 1.

  _a_ 1, _a_ 2, &c. the tinfoil.

  _b b b_, plates of glass.

  _c_, the intermediate slips connecting the plates 6, 4, and 2.

  _d_, the slips connecting 5, 3, 1, and the ground.

Fig. 2.

  _a_, the intermediate slips passing over the edges of the glass
  and connecting plates, 1, 3, and 5.

  _b_, the slip which connects the upper sheet of foil with the
  4th, &c.

In a battery of the ordinary form, it is evident that a much less
surface is coated than in one of the above construction; in a
battery of the common form, two feet long, one foot wide, and ten
inches high, and containing 18 coated jars, there will be no more
than 3500 square inches of coated surface, while in a battery of
the same dimensions on the proposed construction, there will be no
less than 8000 square inches covered with tinfoil, allowing the
sheet of glass and of foil to be ¼ inch thick.

When plate glass is employed for making this battery, the ring of
glass exterior to the tinfoil may be covered with varnish, and then
the next plate laid over it; the tinfoil will then be shut out for
ever from the access of moisture, and the insulation will remain
perfect. This form of the Electrical Battery is very portable, may
be packed in a case with the machine, and indeed a powerful battery
occupies no greater space than a quarto volume. It is cheap and
easily constructed.

ART. XV. _Chemical Examination of the Berries of the Myrica
Cerifera, or Wax Myrtle, by_ J. F. DANA, M. D. _Chemical Assistant
in Harvard University, and Lecturer on Chemistry and Pharmacy in
Dartmouth College_.

(Communicated for this Journal.)

The myrtle wax of commerce has been examined by Dr. Bostock and
by M. Cadet; the entire berry not having been made the subject
of analysis, I have been induced to examine it, with a view to
ascertain the proportion of wax.

I. Fifty grains of the most perfect berries were digested in
repeated portions of warm alcohol, until the fluid appeared to
exert no further action. The first portions of alcohol were tinged
of a green colour, but the last portions remained colourless.

II. The alcoholic solutions were poured into a small retort of
known weight; the alcohol was carefully distilled off, and the
residuum dried; deducting the weight of the retort, there remained
18.5 grs. for the weight of the matter dissolved by the alcohol.

III. The substances which had been dissolved by the alcohol
consisted of two portions, viz. the wax, which was of an
apple-green colour, and a reddish brown substance; this substance
was supposed to be resinous, and the contents of the retort were
therefore digested in acetic acid; the acid soon became of a
reddish brown colour, and dissolved nearly the whole of the matter
in the retort, leaving the wax. The acid solution, together with a
small portion of insoluble reddish matter, were carefully separated
from the wax. The wax being dried and melted, weighed 16 grains.

IV. The acetic acid solution was evaporated to dryness, and a dark
brown matter was obtained; it was almost totally soluble in warm
alcohol, from which it was precipitated by water; it was supposed
therefore to consist chiefly of resin, with a small portion of
extractive matter, and may be called resino-extractive; it weighed
2.5 grains.

V. The matter insoluble in alcohol consisted of two parts, viz.
the kernels and a fine-grained black powder, having very much the
appearance of fine gunpowder; the powder was carefully separated
from the kernels by a wire sieve, and weighed 7.5 grains. The
kernels were found to weigh 23.75 grains.

From this analysis it appears that the entire berries consist of

  Wax                  32.00
  Resino-extractive     5.00
  Black powder         15.00
  Kernels              47.00
  Loss                   .50

The chemical properties of the wax and of the black powder may be
made the subject of another communication.

_Earthy phosphate of iron_ has recently been found at Hopkinton,
Mass. It exists there in large quantities, and is employed as
a pigment. The gentleman on whose grounds it was found sent me
several pounds of it.

  J. F. D.

ART. XVI. _Analysis of Wacke, by Dr._ J. W. WEBSTER, _of Boston_.

One hundred parts exposed to a red heat in a platina crucible lost
18.5, acquired an umber brown colour, and a degree of hardness
sufficient to scratch glass.

One hundred parts reduced to fine powder were mixed with four
times the weight of soda, and exposed to heat, gradually increased
for three quarters of an hour; at the expiration of which time,
the whole had acquired a pasty consistence. The crucible was now
removed from the fire, its outer surface carefully wiped. Muriatic
acid was poured on till all effervescence ceased. The solution
obtained was evaporated to dryness, gradually assuming an orange
red colour. Water was now poured upon the mass, after which it was
filtered, and the powder remaining carefully dried; after ignition,
and while warm, it weighed 28 parts. This powder was insoluble in
muriatic acid, and of a white colour.

To the filtered solution, reduced by evaporation, carbonate of
potash was added, the precipitate was collected on a filter, washed
and dried; it weighed 23 parts. This powder was redissolved in
sulphuric acid, sulphate of potash added, and crystals of alum
finally obtained; hence this powder was alumine. To the liquor from
which the silex and alumine had thus been separated, acetic acid
was added; the whole evaporated to dryness; the excess of acid
being removed, a small quantity of water was poured on, and after
strong ignition, the precipitate weighed 4.5.

Into a very small tubulated retort I introduced a portion from the
same mass, whence the piece submitted to analysis was broken, and
obtained over mercury the carbonic acid in the usual manner. This
was equal to 2.32; by deducting this from 18.5 the loss during
exposure to red heat, we shall have 16.18, the proportion of water.
The oxide of iron was separated from the solutions after the
addition of acetic acid, by ammonia, and weighed 26 parts.

  Silex           28.
  Alumine         23.
  Lime             4.5
  Carbonic acid    2.32
  Water           16.18
  Oxide of iron   26.


ART. XVII. _On the Comparative Quantity of Nutritious Matter which
may be obtained from an Acre of Land when cultivated with Potatoes
or Wheat, by Dr._ ELI IVES, _Professor of Materia Medica and Botany
in Yale College_.

In a good season an acre of suitable land well cultivated will
produce 400 bushels of potatoes. In Woodbridge, a town adjoining
New-Haven, a crop of 600 bushels of potatoes has been obtained from
a single acre. A bushel of potatoes weighs 56 pounds. Multiply 400,
the number of bushels, by 56, the weight of a single bushel, gives
22400, the number of pounds of potatoes produced upon one acre.

Thirty bushels of wheat are considered a good crop as the product
of one acre of land. About ⅚ of wheat may be considered as
nutritious matter.

According to the experiments of Dr. Pearson and Einhoff, about
one-third of the potato is nutritious matter. From the analysis
of Einhoff, 7680 parts of potatoes afforded 1153 parts of
starch--fibrous matter analogous to starch 540 parts--albumen 107
parts--mucilage 312 parts. The sum of these products amounts to
about one-third of the potatoes subject to the experiment.

Sir Humphry Davy observes, that one-fourth of the weight of
potatoes at least may be considered nutritious matter.

One-fourth of 22400, the product of an acre of ground, cultivated
with potatoes, is 5600. The whole weight of a crop of wheat
calculated at 30 bushels to the acre, and at 60 pounds to the
bushel, gives 1800. Deducting one-sixth from the wheat as matter
not nutritious, and the weight is reduced to 1500.

The nutritious matter of the crop of potatoes to that of wheat is
as 5600 to 1500, or as 56 to 15.

The starch might be obtained by a very simple machine, recommended
by Parmentier; and in seasons when potatoes are abundant, the
potatoes might be converted to starch, and the starch preserved for
any length of time, and used as a substitute for wheaten flour.

The machine alluded to is a cylinder of wood about three feet long
and six inches in diameter, covered with sheet tin, punched outward
so as to form a coarse grater, and turned by a crank. This cylinder
is placed in a box of boards whose sides slope a little inward upon
the principle of a hopper, and a tub of water is placed beneath:
The potatoes are thrown into this box, and as the crank is turned
they are crushed, and the starch or fecula subsides to the bottom
of the water. It is well known, that potatoes are largely used in
England mixed with flour to form a very good bread; the _starch_ of
the potato would of course answer much better.


ART. XVIII. _Biographical Notice of the late_ ARCHIBALD BRUCE, M.
D. _Professor of Materia Medica, and Mineralogy in the Medical
Institution of the State of New-York, and Queen's College,
New-Jersey; and Member of various Learned Societies in America and
Europe._ With a Portrait.


Doctor Archibald Bruce, (the subject of this Memoir) was a native
of the city of New-York, in North America. He was born in the month
of February, in the year seventeen hundred and seventy-seven. His
father was, at that time, at the head of the medical department of
the British army, (then stationed at New-York) to which he had been
attached from his youth, having been many years previously resident
at New-York, as surgeon to the artillery department; where he was
married, in or about the year seventeen hundred and sixty-seven, to
Judith, a daughter of Nicholas Bayard, formerly of the same city,
at that time the widow of Jeremiah Van Rensselaer of Greenbush; by
whom he had another son, (who died an officer in the British army
in Ireland) and a daughter, who died while a child.

William Bruce, (the father above-mentioned,) and his brother
Archibald, together with a sister, were natives of the town of
Dumfries in Scotland, where their father was many years resident as
the parochial clergyman; and so continued until his decease, much

Both sons applied themselves to the science of medicine and
surgery. William, as above stated, became a physician in the
British army, and died, in that station, of the yellow fever,
in the island of Barbadoes. And Archibald received a commission
of surgeon in the British navy, in which he continued until
disqualified by old age, when he retired from business, and died
a few years since in London. For many years he acted as surgeon
to the several ships commanded by Sir Peter Parker, captain, and
afterward admiral.

Doctor William Bruce, before his final separation from his family,
on the occasion of his being ordered to the West-India station, had
always declared that his son Archibald should never be educated for
the medical profession; and finally enjoined such instruction upon
his wife and friends, to whom the charge of the boy was committed.
After his decease, the same injunction was repeated by the uncle,
then in Europe, who was ever averse to his nephew's making choice
of this profession: much pains were therefore early exerted to
divert him from such inclination.

The momentous state of political affairs, induced his mother to
send him to Halifax, under the care of William Almon, M. D. a
particular friend of her husband, with whom, however, remaining
but a short time, he returned to New-York; and was placed at a
boarding-school at Flatbush, Long Island, under the direction of
Peter Wilson, LL.D. who was in high standing as a teacher of the

[Illustration: ARCHIBALD BRUCE M. D.]

In 1791, he was admitted a student of the arts in Columbia college.
Nicholas Romayne, M.D. was at this time among the physicians of
highest consideration in New-York, and was engaged in delivering
lectures on different subjects of medical science in Columbia
College. Having pursued the early part of his medical studies with
Dr. William Bruce, he felt a generous gratitude for the instruction
and attention which he had received from him, and endeavoured to
requite them by advising with his son, and promoting his views,
as far as lay in his power. Here commenced a friendship which
increased with advancing years, and terminated but with life. At
this period, young Bruce began to evince a desire to oppose the
inclination of his father and friends by studying medicine; this
study, without their knowledge, and while a student of the arts in
the senior class, he commenced by attending Dr. Romayne's lectures.
Such was the strong bent of his mind towards the study of medicine,
and its collateral physical pursuits, that the persuasion and
remonstrances of his friends proved alike ineffectual, and he soon
gave free scope to the prevailing inclination.

The collection and examination of minerals, a pursuit not then at
all attended to in this country, was his particular relief from
other studies; for even during his recreation, he was ever on the
look-out for something new or instructing in mineralogy.

Dr. Romayne being about visiting Europe, young Bruce pursued his
studies with Samuel Bard, M.D.; and having attended the usual
courses in Columbia College, he left the United States for Europe
in 1798, and in 1800 he obtained the degree of doctor in medicine
from the University of Edinburgh, after defending a Thesis, De
Variola Vaccina.

Having now finished his medical studies, he was prepared to visit
the continent of Europe with peculiar advantage; for his continued
attachment to mineralogy, a liberal distribution of American
specimens then comparatively new in Europe, and his social habits
and dispositions, which were very conciliating, secured him the
best introductions from Edinburgh, and laid the foundation of
permanent friendships.

During a tour of two years, he visited France, Switzerland, and
Italy; and collected a mineralogical cabinet of great value and
extent. After his return to England, he married in London, and
came out to New-York in the autumn of 1803, to enter on the active
duties of a practitioner of medicine.

Previous to the year 1805, the practice of physic in the state of
New-York was regulated by no public authority, and of course was
not in the happiest condition to promote the respectability and
usefulness of the profession. To remove, as far as possible, the
existing inconveniences, Dr. Bruce became an active agent, and
in conjunction with Dr. Romayne and other medical gentlemen of
New-York, succeeded in establishing the state and county medical
societies, under the sanction of the state legislature. This act
"may be considered among the first efforts made in this country to
reduce medicine to a regular science, by investing the privileges
of medical men in the body of the members of the profession."

In the organization of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of
the state of New-York, Dr. Bruce and Dr. Romayne were eminently
active, and by their united exertion and perseverance, (opposed by
much professional talent) they obtained a charter from the regents.
In this new institution, as professor of the materia medica, and
of his favourite pursuit, mineralogy, he exhibited the fruits of
arduous study, with a dignity of character, and urbanity of manner,
which commanded the respect of the profession, and the regard of
the students.

The ruling passion in Dr. Bruce's mind, was a love of natural
science, and especially of mineralogy. Towards the study of this
science, he produced in his own country a strong impulse, and he
gave it no small degree of eclat. His cabinet, composed of very
select and well characterized specimens; purchased by himself, or
collected in his own pedestrian and other tours in Europe, or, in
many instances, presented to him by distinguished mineralogists
abroad; and both in its extent, and in relation to the then state
of this country, very valuable, soon became an object of much
attention. That of the late B. D. Perkins, which, at about the same
time, had been formed by Mr. Perkins in Europe, and imported by him
into this country, was also placed in New-York, and both cabinets
(for both were freely shown to the curious, by their liberal and
courteous proprietors) contributed more than any causes had ever
done before, to excite in the public mind an active interest in the
science of mineralogy.[43]

Dr. Bruce, while abroad, had been personally and intimately
conversant with the Hon. Mr. Greville, of Paddington Green, near
London, a descendant of the noble house of Warwick, the possessor
of one of the finest private cabinets in Europe, and a zealous
cultivator of mineralogy. Count Bournon, one of those loyal French
exiles, who found a home in England, during the storm of the French
revolution, was almost domesticated at Mr. Greville's, and was
hardly second to any man in mineralogical, and particularly in
crystallographical knowledge. His connexions with men of science
on the continent, were of the first order, and to be familiar at
Mr. Greville's, and with Count Bournon, was to have access to
every thing connected with science in England and France. Dr.
Bruce was also at home at Sir Joseph Banks's, the common resort of
learned and illustrious men. Thus he enjoyed every advantage in
England, and when he went to the continent, the abundant means of
introduction which he possessed, brought him into contact with the
distinguished men of Paris, and of other cities which he visited.
The learned and estimable Abbé Haüy was among his personal friends
and correspondents; and many others might be mentioned in the same
character, whose names are among the first in the ranks of science,
in various countries of Europe.

Returned to his own country, after being so long familiar with the
fine collections in natural history, and especially in mineralogy,
in various countries in Europe, Dr. Bruce manifested a strong
desire to aid in bringing to light the neglected mineral treasures
of the United States. He soon became a focus of information on
these subjects. Specimens were sent to him from many and distant
parts of the country, both as donations and for his opinion
respecting their nature. In relation to mineralogy he conversed,
he corresponded extensively, both with Europe and America; he
performed mineralogical tours; he kindly sought out and encouraged
the young mineralogists of his own country, and often expressed a
wish to see a journal of American mineralogy upon the plan of that
of the School of Mines at Paris. This object, it is well known, he
accomplished, and in 1810, published the first number of this work.
Owing to extraneous causes, it was never carried beyond one volume;
but it demonstrated the possibility of sustaining such a work in
the United States, and will always be mentioned in the history
of American science, as the earliest original purely scientific
journal of America.

Dr. Bruce had, in a high degree, the feelings of a man of science.
He was ever forward to promote its interests, and both at home and
abroad, was considered as one of its most distinguished American

Many strangers of distinction came introduced to him, and his
urbanity and hospitality rarely left him without guests at his
board. During the latter part of his life, he seems to have been
less interested in science. His journal had been so long suspended,
that it was considered as virtually relinquished; his health was
undermined by repeated attacks of illness, and science and society
had to lament his sudden departure, when he had scarcely attained
the meridian of life.

He died in his native place on the 22d of February, 1818, of an
apoplexy, in the 41st year of his age.


ART. XIX. 1. _Dr._ J. W. WEBSTER'S _Lectures_.

Dr. J. W. Webster, some months since, commenced a course of
Lectures in the town of Boston, on Geology and Mineralogy. Having
finished his first course, he is now occupied with a second on the
same subjects, and we understand receives the patronage of some of
the most respectable citizens of Boston and its vicinity. He makes
Geology the groundwork of his plan, and fills up by describing the
metals and minerals met with in each class of rocks, after the
rock has been noticed. A pretty full account is given of the coal
formations, (several of which Dr. W. has visited) and of the modes
of searching and boring. A view is given of the formations of Paris
and the Isle of Wight, with specimens from those districts.

In the volcanic part, a description (from personal observation) is
given of St. Michael's. The structure of veins; the forming and
destroying effects of water; the physiognomy of the dry land and
submarine; the origin of islands and coral reefs, and a view of the
principal mountain ranges throughout the world conclude the course.

2. _Dr. Webster's Cabinet._

Dr. Webster, having spent two or three years in Europe, in
professional studies, during which time he devoted much attention
to mineralogy and geology, with the ample aids afforded by the
cabinets and distinguished teachers in Scotland, France, and
England, has recently returned to his own country, and has brought
with him a very select and considerably extensive cabinet of
minerals, with which, and with American specimens, he illustrates
his lectures. We understand that the collection contains some
thousand specimens, and is good in the English and Scotch minerals;
also in the Siberian coppers; it contains a suite of three hundred
geological specimens from Freyberg, from granite to gravel. The
geological part is extensive, and was increased by numerous
pedestrian tours in England and Scotland; most of the geological
specimens have been examined, in company with Professor Jameson.
The volcanic part is good, from the extensive opportunities which
Dr. Webster enjoyed in the Azores, in which, on his return to this
country, he spent some time, and found much to interest him. His
observations will soon be given to the public, in a work entitled
_Remarks on the Azores or Western Islands_.

It is well known that they are volcanic, and of course afford
the usual volcanic substances. The most interesting part is that
occupied by the boiling fountains, in many respects similar to the
Geysers of Iceland, excepting that the water is not ejected to
any considerable height; but the incrustations, the sinter, and
sulphur, are every way equal to any specimens which Dr. Webster saw
in Sir G. Mackenzie's collection.

We are much gratified in noticing both what Dr. Webster has done
and is still doing. We are persuaded that he will do much towards
promoting the cultivation of American mineralogy and geology, and
especially in the enlightened community in which he resides.

We cordially wish him success, and trust that it will be ensured by
the patronage of the citizens of Boston.

3. _Supposed identity of Copal and Amber._

A correspondent, whose paper is withheld from publication till some
additional experiments can be made, conceives that copal and amber
are originally the same substance, and the product of the same tree.

4. THE NECRONITE.--(_A supposed new mineral._)

_Extract of a letter from Dr. H. H. Hayden of Baltimore, to the
Editor, dated January 5, 1819._

"It (the necronite) occurs in a primitive marble, or limestone,
which is obtained 21 miles from Baltimore, and a small distance
from the York and Lancaster road. It was first noticed by myself at
Washington's monument, in which this marble is principally employed.

"It occurs, for the most part, in isolated masses in the blocks,
or slabs, both in an amorphous and crystallized state. It is
most commonly associated with a beautiful brown mica, of the
colour of titanium; small but regular crystals of sulphuret of
iron, tremolite, and small prismatic crystals of titanium, which
are rare. The form of the crystals is a rhomboid, approximating
very much to that of the felspar, and which has inclined some to
consider it as such. Also, the hexaedral prism, resembling that of
the beryl. This form is rare, and has not, as yet, I believe, been
found complete. Its colour is a bluish white, and clear white. Its
structure much resembles felspar, being lamellar; sometimes opaque,
semi-transparent and transparent, at least in moderately thin
pieces. It scratches glass, carbonat of lime, and even felspar, in
a _slight_ degree. In all our efforts, it has been found infusible,
per se, or with borate of soda, and even from all the force of heat
that could be excited in a smith's furnace, it came out unchanged
in any degree. The acids seem to have no sensible effect upon it,
either cold or hot. This is all that I can say of it at present,
except that it possesses a most _horrid_ smell.[44] I have since
found in a marble of the same kind, but from a different quarry,
and a few miles distant from the first, a quartz almost as fetid
as the necronite, and likewise associated with _small_ prisms of

"These substances carry with them a degree of interest in another
point of view. They seem to invalidate the opinion that the fetid
smell of secondary limestone, slate, &c. is derived from the
decomposition of animal matter. As their gangue is _decidedly_ a
rock of primitive formation."

_Another new mineral observed by Dr. Hayden._

"Exclusive of the interest which the necronite has excited with me
and several others, I have besides stumbled upon another substance,
if possible still more interesting. I discovered it in an imperfect
state, about 4 years since, but not until recently have I been able
to find it perfect, in beautiful garnet coloured cubic crystals
¼ of an inch square or nearly. These crystals are very liable or
subject to decomposition, in which state they present a perfect but
spongy cube. Although they resemble the cubic zeolite, yet they
have nothing of its character with them besides."


Dr. Hayden without doubt alludes to the _chabasie_ of the Abbé
Haüy, formerly but inaccurately called the cubic zeolite; for it is
really a rhomboid very nearly approaching a cube--its angles being
93° 48′, and 86° 12′.


_From Thenard's Chemistry_, vol. iii. _Paris ed. p._ 713.

The author declines describing the methods of embalming commonly
employed, and proceeds to describe the mode which was for the first
time employed by Dr. Chaussier.

"This process consists in placing the dead body thoroughly emptied
and washed, in water kept constantly saturated with corrosive
sublimate. This salt gradually combines with the flesh, gives it
firmness, renders it imputrescible, and incapable of being attacked
by insects and worms.

"I have seen, (adds the author) a head thus prepared, which had
been exposed alternately to the sun and rain during several years,
without having suffered the slightest change. It was very little
deformed, and easily recognized, although the flesh had become as
hard as wood."


(_From Thenard's Chemistry, Vol._ ii. _p._ 525.)

This match is prepared by mingling two parts of the oxymuriate
of potash and one of sulphur, which by means of a little gum is
attached to a common sulphur match. This match on being dipped
into, or rather slightly wet with, strong sulphuric acid, (oil of
vitriol) immediately catches fire.

The author has not added the caution that the sulphur and salt
should be pulverized separately; if rubbed together in a mortar,
they will explode with some danger to the operator, provided the
quantity be over a few grains.

Matches made upon this principle, have been for some time made and
sold in this country. They are sometimes put up in little japanned
cases with a small phial, from which when inverted with the mouth
open, nothing will drop, and yet the match kindles on being thrust
in quite to the bottom. The truth is, these bottles contain a
little amianthus moistened with sulphuric acid, which thus kindles
the match, but as the acid soon weakens by attracting water from
the air, it is better to use a phial of the acid in the liquid
state. A few drops answer the purpose, and when this is weakened,
it is easily renewed.

7. _Cleaveland's Mineralogy._

Our opinion of this work was fully expressed in the review of it in
our first number. In the Edinburgh Review for September, 1818, this
work is again reviewed, and in a manner which must gratify every
friend to American science. It will be necessary to cite only a
single sentence. After commending the condensed and _honest_ manner
in which the work is printed, (for they say, that the same matter
which here fills one volume would in England have been spread over
three,) the reviewer adds, "We should be glad to see it reprinted
exactly upon the plan of the original; and we have no doubt that
it would be found _the most useful work on mineralogy in our
language_." More need not be--more scarcely could be said.

8. _A new Alkali._

A new alkali has recently been discovered in Sweden, by M.
Arfwedson. It is found in the petalite, a mineral from Utoen, in
Sweden, in a proportion not over 5 pr. ct.; also in the triphane
or spodumene, in the proportion of 8 per cent. and in what is
called crystallized lepidolite, in the proportion of 4 per cent.
In its general properties it very nearly resembles the other
alkalies. When heated in contact with platinum it acts on it. In
the galvanic circuit it was decomposed "with bright scintillations,
and the reduced metal being separated, afterward burnt." This metal
resembles sodium. The new alkali has been called lithia. (_Jour. of
Science of the Roy. Inst._)

9. _Ignited Platinum Wire._

In our last we mentioned the lamp without flame, the ignition of
platinum wire being sustained by means of the vapour of alcohol.

Sir H. Davy has discovered that the vapour of camphor answers the
same purpose: "If a piece of camphor, or a few small fragments in a
heap, be placed in any convenient situation, as on a shilling, the
bottom of a glass, &c. and a piece of platinum wire, either coiled
or pressed up together, be heated and laid upon it, the platinum
will glow as long as any camphor remains, and will frequently light
it up into a flame."

  _Jour. Roy. Inst._

10. _Red Rain._

A red rain fell in Naples, (March 14, 1818,) the common people were
much alarmed, and called it _blood_ or _fire_.

An earthy powder was collected, which when dry was yellow,
unctuous, and of an earthy taste; its specific gravity 2.07.

Its analysis presented silex 33--alumine 15.5--chrome 1.--
iron 14.5--carbonic acid 9., and a combustible substance of a
carbonaceous nature.

It is thought that this powder had not a volcanic origin, and that
the presence of chrome assimilates it with meteoric stones. _Ibid._

11. _Gnephalium._

Professor Ives has discovered a new species of gnephalium with
decurrent leaves, of which a plate and description will appear in
our next number.

12. _Augite._

M. Haüy has united the fassalite and the bakalite with the sahlite,
a sub-species of augite. (See Mem. of the Museum of Nat. Hist. vol.

13. _A New Vegetable Alkali_,

Has been found by Messrs. Pelletier and Caventon in the Feve St.
Ignace and the Nux Vomica. It has been named the vaucquelin, in
honour of M. Vaucquelin. (Journal de Physique, for Aug. 1818.)

14. _New Minerals._

Two new mineral species have been discovered, the scorrodite from
Schnuburg in Saxony, and the tungstate of lead from Zinnwald in
Bohemia. _Ibid._

15. _New Metal._

A new metal has been discovered by Berzilius, in the mines of
Fahlun in Sweden, to which he has given the name of Selenium.

16. _Pure Alumine._

A large bed of this substance, perfectly pure, has been found at
Argenton, Department de L'Endre. _Ibid._

17. _Collections of American Minerals._

We are informed that under the auspices of Col. Gibbs, a collection
of American minerals by states, according to the arrangement of
the minerals of the departments of France, in the cabinet of the
school of mines at Paris, was begun some time since, at the rooms
of the Hist. Society in New-York; and recently in the University of
Cambridge. In the arrangement of the latter, he has been assisted
by Dr. J. W. Webster, lecturer on mineralogy and geology in Boston.

18. _C. S. Rafinesque, Esq._

We are requested to announce that a Journal of this gentleman's
"Travels and Discoveries in the West, will be published this
year by Cramer and Spear of Pittsburg, and that the results of
his zoological and botanical labours consist in the discovery of
about 15 new genera, and 180 new species of plants; about 75 new
genera, and 600 new species of animals, whereof nearly 70 are new
fishes, 20 new quadrupeds, 30 new reptiles, 112 new shells, 250
new fossils, &c." "He has inquired how the deep valleys have been
excavated, where lakes existed, where the old falls of the Ohio
were, the extent and origin of the coal region, &c."

19. _Medical College of Ohio._

_Extract of a letter from Cincinnati, Jan. 10th, 1819._

The legislature of the state of Ohio have just established a
medical college in this city, and have by an unanimous vote passed
a law incorporating the Faculty. In the act, Dr. Samuel Brown of
Alabama is named as Professor of Anatomy, Dr. Daniel Drake of
Cincinnati, Professor of the Institutes and Practice of Medicine,
Dr. Coleman Rogers, Professor of Surgery, and Dr. Slack, Professor
of Chemistry. The other Professors are to be appointed by the
Faculty, and it is believed that Dr. Richardson of Lexington,
Kentucky, will be called to the Obstetrical chair. Very high
expectations are entertained of the importance of this institution
in the west.

20. _Notes on Ohio._

Caleb Atwater, Esq. of Circleville, Ohio, has issued proposals for
publishing the above work, (mentioned in our last number) with
a prospectus exhibiting its principal features. We doubt not it
will contain valuable information concerning a very interesting
portion of the United States, and every effort on the part of
men of intelligence and enlarged views, to make the western and
southwestern states better known, deserves, and it is believed will
receive, adequate support.

21. _Discovery of American Tungsten and Tellurium._

Neither of these metals, so far as we are informed, has been
announced as existing in either of the Americas. It is well known
to mineralogists, that tungsten is very rare, and that tellurium is
found only in Transylvania.

We have now the pleasure to state that both these metals exist
in the Bismuth mine, in the town of Huntington, parish of New
Stratford, in Connecticut, 20 miles west of New-Haven.

During the examination of some ores, brought to us by Mr. Ephraim
Lane, the proprietor of this mine, we obtained the tungsten in the
state of yellow oxid, and the tellurium in the metallic state.

The tungsten is stated to be abundant in the mine; it is the
ferruginous species, known to mineralogists by the name of wolfram.

We cannot yet say whether the tellurium is abundant, having
obtained it from only two pieces; from these we extracted also
tungsten, so that it may possibly constitute a new mineral species.
Further particulars will be given in our next Number.

22. _Mr. Sheldon's Application of Chesnut Wood to the Arts of
Tanning and Dying._


A considerable time since, we were confidentially made acquainted
with the discovery detailed in the following letter. We have
repeated the most important of Mr. Sheldon's experiments, both in
relation to tanning and dying, and are well satisfied that the
discoverer has not overrated, or erroneously estimated, the value
of his own results. We are persuaded that the highly _useful_ arts
alluded to, will derive important aid from the use of a material so
abundant and cheap as chesnut wood.

_To Professor Silliman._

  _Springfield, Mass. Feb. 27, 1819._


I send you a more particular account of the newly discovered
properties of the chesnut.

This tree, _Fagus Castanea_, Linn. is very abundant in New-England
and the middle states; and occurs in the mountainous districts, as
far southward as South-Carolina, or perhaps even Georgia. It is one
of the stateliest trees of the forest; scarcely less distinguished
by the beauty of its foliage, than by the durability of its wood.

By repeated analyses, conducted with the minutest attention to
every circumstance which could ensure accuracy, it appears,
incredible as it may seem, that the chesnut _wood_ contains twice
as much tannin as ross'd[45] _oak bark_, and six-sevenths as much
colouring matter (which gives a black with iron,) as logwood. I am
aware that nothing could be farther from the common apprehension
than such results; but the uniform success of a great variety of
experiments in tanning and dying, in addition to the other kind of
evidence, should satisfy the most incredulous.

The leather tanned with it, has, in every instance, been superior
to that tanned in a comparative experiment, with oak bark; being
firmer, less porous, and at the same time more pliable. The reason
for this difference, will probably be found in the _high state
of oxygenizement_ of the bark, particularly of the epidermis, by
which it is rendered to a certain degree acrid and corrosive. Dr.
Bancroft was perhaps the first who noticed the oxygenizement of
barks. He attributes the dark brown colour of the epidermis of
_his_ quercitron, to this cause; and as a confirmation of the idea,
I have observed that ink made of the epidermis of another kind of
bark, though at first not to be distinguished by the colour from
that made of the cellular and cortical parts, is incomparably less

As a material for making ink, the wood of the chesnut is probably
unrivalled. Combined with iron in any proportion, it gives, as it
is dilute or concentrated, a pure blue or blue-black; while galls,
sumach, &c. &c. unless combined with a greater proportion than is
consistent with the highest degree of permanency, afford a _black_
more or less inclining to a reddish brown. The lake of the chesnut
is indeed a blue, and not to be distinguished by the eye from
indigo; but when diffused on paper, this same substance becomes an
intense shining black. In dying, little difference is observable
between the chesnut and galls, and sumach, except that the former
has a rather greater affinity for wool, &c. than the latter, and of
course requires less boiling. Its permanency has been completely
tested by long exposure to the sun and the weather; but no doubt
can exist on this head, if the position of Berthollet be true, that
permanent blacks are formed only by the combination of iron and

To prepare the chesnut wood for the purposes of tanning, a mode
has been devised for reducing it to a suitable degree of fineness.
This method consists in the application of knives, either in the
direction of, or transversely to the grain, by a rotatory motion.
This mode obviously involves the greatest possible economy of
moving power. Messrs. B. and M. Stebbins, of West-Springfield, who
are making arrangements for going largely into the exportation of
the article, have in construction a machine upon this plan.

As might be expected, the inspissated aqueous extract of the
chesnut, bears a near resemblance in many particulars, to catechu.
Professor Dewey, of William's College, who at my request, has gone
through an extensive and elaborate course of experiments, informed
me that he obtained a quarter more of the gelatinous precipitate
from the former, than from the latter. By the taste, the two
substances are not to be distinguished, except that the former is
more pungent. It leaves upon the tongue, the same permanent and
refreshing sweetness, for which the other is so much prized in the
east; where it is used as an article of luxury, with betel nut.
Might not the extract be advantageously substituted for catechu,
in the celebrated life preserving composition of Dr. Pearson; the
object being to concentrate the greatest possible quantity of
nutritious and tonic substances in the smallest weight.

The colouring properties of the two substances, are entirely
different. After the discovery, twelve or fifteen years since,
of the composition of the _terra japonica_, attempts were made
in England to introduce it into the materia tingentia, as a
substitute for galls; but unfortunately, like the extract of
quercitron, it affords with iron nothing but a meagre olive; and
Dr. Bancroft states, that in a great number of trials, he was
unable, by the greatest accumulation, to produce any thing like a
black, even upon wool, much less upon cotton and silk.

A singular fact, which I observed in the course of my experiments,
is worthy of notice. I had prepared for a certain purpose,
solutions from the wood of the trunk of a tree, about three feet,
and from that of a limb about three inches in diameter. The same
quantity of wood and of the solvent was employed in both cases.
On adding to each the same quantity of the solution of gelatine,
abundant precipitates immediately appeared, as usual, apparently
much the same in quantity; but to my astonishment, the size of
the several congeries in each, bore a near proportion to that of
the sticks from which they were obtained, not differing much from
that of middling and of very small flakes of snow. Is not this an
extraordinary fact, evincive of a complication in the arrangement
of these bodies hitherto unsuspected. May it not at some future
period, lead to a _nomenclature of precipitates_; affording, like
the crystallography of Haüy, a new and accurate mode of determining
the compositions of substances; and perhaps throwing light upon the
obscure subject of chemical, or if you please, electro-chemical
affinities. The _size_ of a stick might probably be ascertained
with almost as much precision, as by actual admeasurement. The
solutions in this experiment, were formed by maceration in cold
water. When hot water was employed, and the process was completed
in two or three hours, the appearance of the precipitate was very
different, the congeries being smaller, irregular, and not well

I have only to add, that having taken measures to secure the
discovery, both in this country and Europe, it is my wish to bring
it into general use as speedily as possible.

  I am, Sir, very respectfully,

  Your obedient servant,


P. S. In a short article for some future number, I may send you
an account of the operation of the machine, and of some other

23. _Additional note concerning the Tungsten and Tellurium._

We have not room to insert in the present number, a description
and a chemical examination of the ores of tungsten and tellurium
recently discovered in Connecticut; they will appear in our next.

In the mean time it may be stated, that the tungsten and tellurium
are found blended in the same pieces, but whether in mere mixture,
or in chemical combination, is not yet quite determined. Many
specimens of the tungsten exist without the tellurium, but every
piece which has afforded tellurium has also afforded tungsten,
and in greater abundance. Even in well defined crystals, both
metals have been found in the same crystal, and where the external
appearance was homogeneous. In other specimens a difference seems
to be apparent, and a proper ore of tellurium appears to be blended
with a proper ore of tungsten. This latter ore is the wolfram,
composed of oxid of tungsten, or as some choose to say, tungstic
oxid combined with iron and manganese. The crystals, however,
are octahedral, a fact which we believe is not mentioned of this
species by authors, although this form is found in the calcareous

       *       *       *       *       *

The Bismuth mine in which these ores are found is the property
of Mr. Ephraim Lane. Letters addressed, post paid, to him at New
Stratford, town of Huntington, Connecticut, will find him through
the Post Office; and he will, for a reasonable compensation, pack
boxes more or less extensive, for mineralogists and others. As Mr.
Lane is by occupation a farmer, and is obliged to blast a quartz
gangue in order to obtain his specimens, he cannot be expected to
transmit them gratis. His mine, which has been sunk only ten feet,
affords native bismuth, native silver, magnetical and common iron
pyrites, and copper pyrites, (the two latter crystallized) galena,
blende, tungsten, tellurium, &c.

It is expected that the shaft will soon be sunk deeper, when
probably a more abundant supply of good specimens will be obtained.

N. B. The silver and galena are the least abundant.

  _March 8th, 1819._


[28] Vide Edin. Review for Sept. 1818. p. 374.

[29] Referring to the ridges of Greenstone near New-Haven.

[30] Or, according to the Wernerian Geologists, Transition?

[31] The modesty of the writer has prevented him from applying to
the formations which he has well described, the terms _transition_
and _secondary_, which there can be little doubt do in fact belong
to them. His strata of highly inclined limestone, appear to belong
to the transition class of Werner, and his flat strata, to the
secondary. It may be observed in this place, that the specimens
alluded to in the text (passim,) appear to be correctly described
by Mr. Cornelius, and to justify his geological inferences as far
as hand-specimens seen at a distance from their native beds, can
form a safe basis for general geological inductions. _Editor._

[32] Copied partly from Manuscripts of the late Dr. Muhlenberg, of
Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

[33] This large species I understand has been mistaken by a writer
on Natural History for _Boa constrictor_: this is mentioned to
show how remotely it is possible to diverge from accuracy in this

[34] I have been since informed by Mr. Lesueur, that to his taste
the poison was bitter.

[35] The terminal caudal plates of this individual were bifid, as
in the one of Peale's Museum.

[36] This last is the animal, beyond a doubt, judging
from the detailed description and plate, which has
lately been erected into a new genus, under the name of
Scoliophus..............................the identity is immediately
obvious, to any one acquainted with the specific characters of the
above-mentioned coluber. And I presume it can be made apparent, to
any one tolerably versed in the science, should proof be thought

[37] Dr. Barton remarked that this part is rounded, (cauda teres,)
this observation was not autoptical, but dictated most probably by
the appearance of Catesby's figure. In the young animal the tail is
less compressed than in the old one.

[38] Here we might properly enough notice the high-ways, streets,
and pavements of cities, &c. on which the materials being minutely
divided by attrition, are in a better state for the sun to act
freely on, and will consequently yield greater products than equal
areas of undisturbed surface, under like circumstances of heat.

[39] Perhaps there is no body in nature absolutely incombustible,
but I use the term here in common acceptation.

[40] It may be easily proved that water evaporates (though slowly)
at a temperature many degrees below its freezing point; and these
vapours are more subtle and elastic than those formed at the
boiling point of that fluid.


It is indeed proved that vapour is formed from water at the lowest
temperatures, but is _less elastic_, the lower the temperature,
as appears from its sustaining a continually decreasing column of
mercury, the lower the temperature at which the vapour is formed.
Vide Dalton's and Gay Lussac's experiments. _Editor._

[41] We have taken the liberty to give Mr. Atwater's Memoir a more
extensive Title, for reasons that will be obvious on a perusal of
the piece.

[42] Genus, _platanus_--species, _occidentalis_, popular name,
sycamore, or button-wood.

[43] The collection of Mr. Perkins became, in 1807, (partly by the
liberality of its possessor, and partly by purchase,) the property
of Yale College, and is now in the cabinet of that institution. It
is believed that few cabinets of equal extent, ever contained more
instructive and beautiful specimens, with less that is unmeaning or
superfluous. The cabinet of Dr. Bruce has, since his death, been
purchased by a gentleman in New-York, for 5000 dollars. _Editor._

[44] On account of its peculiar cadaverous odour Dr. Hayden
proposes to call this mineral (should it prove to be a new one)
Necronite, from the Greek Νεκρος.

[45] That is, the inner bark deprived of the epidermis or outer
bark, by the shaving knife.



  Art. I. On the Geology, Mineralogy, Scenery, and
  Curiosities of Parts of Virginia, Tennessee, and
  of the Alabama and Mississippi Territories,
  &c. with Miscellaneous Remarks, &c. In a Letter to
  the Editor. By the Rev. Elias Cornelius                      317

  Art. II. On the Origin of Prairies. By Mr. R. W. Wells       331

  Art. III. Sketch of the Mineralogy and Geology of the
  Vicinity of Williams' College, Williamstown,
  Mass. By Professor Dewey, of Williams'
  College, in a letter to the Editor                           337

  Art. IV. On the Tourmalines and other Minerals found
  at Chesterfield and Goshen, Massachusetts, by
  Col. George Gibbs                                            346

  Art. V. Observations on the Minerals connected with
  the Gneiss range of Litchfield county, by Mr.
  John P. Brace, of Litchfield, Conn.                          351


  Art. VI. An Account of two North American Species of
  Rottböllia, discovered on the Sea-coast in the
  State of Georgia, by Dr. William Baldwin, of
  Philadelphia                                                 355

  Art. VII. Floral Calendar kept at Deerfield, Massachusetts,
  with Miscellaneous Remarks, by Dr.
  Stephen W. Williams, of Deerfield                            359

  Art. VIII. Description and Natural Classification of the
  Genus Floerkea, by C. S. Rafinesque, Professor
  of Botany and Natural History in the
  Transylvania University, Lexington, Ken.                     373

  Art. IX. Descriptions of Three New Genera of Plants,
  from the State of New-York. Cylactis, Nemopanthus,
  and Polanisia, by Professor C. S. Rafinesque                 377

  Art. X. Notice on the Myosurus Shortii, by the same          379

  Art. XI. Description of a New Species of Gnaphalium,
  by Professor E. Ives                                         380


  Art. XII. Observations on some Species of Zoophytes,
  Shells, &c. principally Fossil, by Thomas Say                381


  Art. XIII. Observations on Salt Storms, and the Influence
  of Salt and Saline Air upon Animal and
  Vegetable Life. Read before the Lyceum of
  Natural History of New-York, March 7,
  1819, by John B. Beck, M. D.                                 388

  Art. XIV. Thoughts on Atmospheric Dust. By Professor
  C. S. Rafinesque                                             397

  Art. XV. On the Effect of Vapour on Flame. By J. F.
  Dana, Chemical Assistant in Harvard University,
  and Lecturer on Chemistry and Pharmacy
  in Dartmouth College                                         401

  Art. XVI. Analysis of the Harrodsburg Salts, by Edward
  D. Smith, M. D. Professor of Chemistry
  and Mineralogy in the South-Carolina College                 403

  Art. XVII. Additional Notice of the Tungsten and
  Tellurium, mentioned in our last Number                      405

  Art. XVIII. A Substitute for Woulfe's or Nooth's Apparatus,
  by Robert Hare, M. D. Professor of
  Chemistry in the Medical Department of the
  University of Pennsylvania, and Member of
  various Learned and Scientific Societies                     410

  Art. XIX. A New Theory of Galvanism, supported by
  some Experiments and Observations made by
  means of the Calorimotor, a new Galvanic
  Instrument. Read before the Academy of
  Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, by Robert
  Hare, M. D. Professor of Chemistry in the
  Medical Department of the University of
  Pennsylvania, and Member of various Learned
  Societies                                                    413


  Art. XX. An improved Method of obtaining the Formulæ
  for the Sines and Cosines of the Sum and Difference
  of two Arcs, by Professor Strong, of Hamilton College, &c.   424


  Art. XXI. An Account of several Ancient Mounds, and of
  two Caves, in East Tennessee, by Mr. John
  Henry Kain, of Knoxville                                     428

  Art. XXII. Facts illustrative of the Powers and Operations
  of the Human Mind in a Diseased State                        431


  Art. XXIII. 1. Discovery of American Cinnabar and
  Native Lead                                                  433

           2. Theoretical Views of Professor Hare of
           Philadelphia                                        434

           3. New Work on Chemistry                          _ibid._

           4. Botanical                                        435

           5. Staurotide                                     _ibid._

           6. Supplement to the "Remarks on the Geology and
           Mineralogy of a Section of Massachusetts, on
           Connecticut River, &c." contained in No. 2,
           Art. I, of this Journal, by E. Hitchcock, A. M.     436

           7. New Process for Tanning                          439

           8. Connexion between Chemistry and Medicine       _ibid._

           9. Brucite                                        _ibid._

           10. Lithography                                   _ibid._

  Conclusion                                                   440

  _Postscript._--American Geological Society                   442

  Index                                                        443





ART. I. _On the Geology, Mineralogy, Scenery, and Curiosities of
Parts of Virginia, Tennessee, and of the Alabama and Mississippi
Territories, &c. with Miscellaneous Remarks, &c. In a Letter to the

(Concluded from page 226.)

I will conclude this part of the narrative with a brief notice of a
few curiosities occurring in the region which has been described.


1. It is well known that it furnishes a great number of interesting
_caves_. They are found alike in the inclined and horizontal
strata. Some of them are several miles in extent, and afford fine
specimens of earthy and alkaline salts.

Wier's cave in Virginia has been described by Mr. Kain. I have in
my possession a map of its most important apartments, including
its whole length, copied from a survey made by Mr. J. Pack in Oct.
1806; also the notes of another survey made in May 1816, by the
Rev. Conrad Speece of Augusta county, and Mr. Robert Grattan;
which, with an explanation, and particular description, I hope to
be able to transmit to you at a future time.

From these surveys, it appears that the whole extent of the cave,
hitherto discovered, does not exceed eight hundred yards. This was
the length stated to me by the guide, when I visited it in August,
1817. I cannot but think there is some mistake in Mr. Kain's
remark, that "it is a mile and a half in extent." I spent four
hours in examining every accessible part, and by permission of Mr.
Henry Bingham, the owner, made a large collection of specimens,
which were transmitted for the Cabinet of Yale College.[46]

_The Natural Bridge._

2. My object m naming this celebrated curiosity, is not to give a
new description of it, but merely to furnish a correct account of
its dimensions. I visited it in company with the Rev. Mr. Huson,
who had previously found its height by a cord, to be two hundred
and ten feet. We now found it by the quadrant, to be two hundred
and eleven feet, and the arch through the centre about forty feet.

Some have attempted to account for this great curiosity, by
supposing that a convulsion in nature may have rent the hill,
in which it stands, asunder; thus forming the deep and narrow
defile, over which the rocky strata were left, which constitute its
magnificent arch. If so; the sides should have corresponding parts.
At a distance from the base, no such correspondence is perceptible.
At the base, the rocks are more or less craggy and irregular.
This led me to take the courses and distances of each side. The
following was the result.

  Eastern side presents 4 angular points.

  1. N. 55°  W. 1 chain.   09   links.
  2. N. 72   W. 1 ------   05½  ------
  3. N. 57   W. 1 ------   12½  ------
  4. N. 50   W. 0 ------   33   ------

  Western side presents 3 angular points.

  1. N. 50°  W. 0 chain.   45   links.
  2. N. 67   W. 1 ------   12½  ------
  3. N. 77   W. 1 ------   44   ------

The chain used contained 50 links, equal to 33 feet and ⅓. The
distance between the abutments at the north end of their bases, is
80 feet; at the south end, 66 feet. As they ascend, the distance is
greater. These data give the following diagram.


Although considerable resemblance appears at the base, yet as no
such correspondence is visible 40 feet above it, and the sides
for the whole remaining distance to the arch, one hundred and
thirty feet, lose their craggy appearance entirely, and present
the smooth, irregular surface of the oldest rocks. I am led to
think that the natural bridge is coeval with a very remote period
of time. Nor is there any difficulty even in supposing it to have
proceeded from the hand of the Almighty, as it is; for great and
marvellous are all his works!

The following anecdote will evince the effect which the sight of
the natural bridge produced on a servant, who, without having
received any definite or adequate ideas of what he was to see,
attended his master to this spot.

On the summit of the hill, or from the top of the Bridge, the
view is not more awful than that which is seen from the brink of
a hundred other precipices. The grand prospect is from below. To
reach it you must descend the hill by a blind path, which winds
through a thicket of trees, and terminates at the instant when the
whole bridge with its broad sides and lofty arch, all of solid
rock, appears perfectly in sight. Not one in a thousand can forbear
to make an involuntary pause: but the servant, who had hitherto
followed his master, without meeting with any thing particularly
to arrest his attention, had no sooner arrived at this point, and
caught a glance of the object which burst upon his vision, than he
fell upon his knees, fixed in wonder and admiration.

_A River flowing from a Cave._

3. I will next mention _a singular cave_, which I do not remember
ever to have seen described. It is situated in the Cherokee
country, at Nicojack, the north-western angle in the map of
Georgia, and is known by the name of the Nicojack cave. It is 20
miles S. W. of the Look-Out mountain, and half a mile from the
south bank of the Tennessee River. The Rackoon mountain in which
it is situated, here fronts to the northeast. Immense layers of
horizontal limestone form a precipice of considerable height. In
this precipice the cave commences; not however with an opening
of a few feet, as is common; but with a mouth fifty feet high,
and one hundred and sixty wide. Its roof is formed by a solid and
regular layer of limestone, having no support but the sides of
the cave, and as level as the floor of a house. The entrance is
partly obstructed by piles of fallen rocks, which appear to have
been dislodged by some great convulsion. From its entrance, the
cave consists chiefly of one grand excavation through the rocks,
preserving for a great distance the same dimensions as at its mouth.

What is more remarkable than all, it forms for the whole distance
it has yet been explored, a walled and vaulted passage, for a
stream of cool and limpid water, which, where it leaves the cave,
is six feet deep and sixty feet wide. A few years since, Col. James
Ore of Tennessee, commencing early in the morning, followed the
course of this creek in a canoe, for three miles. He then came to
a fall of water, and was obliged to return, without making any
further discovery. Whether he penetrated three miles up the cave
or not, it is a fact he did not return till the evening, having
been busily engaged in his subterranean voyage for twelve hours.
He stated that the course of the cave after proceeding some way to
the southwest became south; and southeast by south, the remaining

_Natural Nitre._

The sides of the principal excavation present a few apartments
which are interesting, principally because they furnish large
quantities of the earth from which the nitrate of potash is
obtained. This is a circumstance very common to the caves of the
western country. In that at Nicojack, it abounds, and is found
covering the surfaces of fallen rocks, but in more abundance
beneath them. There are two kinds, one is called the "clay dirt,"
the other the "black dirt;" the last is much more strongly
impregnated than the first. For several years there has been a
considerable manufacture of saltpetre from this earth. The process
is by lixiviation and crystallization, and is very simple. The
earth is thrown into a hopper, and the fluid obtained, passed
through another of ashes, the alkali of which decomposes the earthy
nitrate, and uniting with its acid, which contains chiefly nitrate
of lime, turns it into nitrate of potash. The precipitated lime
gives the mass a whitish colour, and the consistence of curdled
milk. By allowing it to stand in a large trough, the precipitate,
which is principally lime, subsides, and the superincumbent fluid,
now an alkaline, instead of an earthy nitrate, is carefully removed
and boiled for some time in iron kettles, till it is ready to
crystallize. It is then removed again to a large trough, in which
it shoots into crystals. It is now called "rough shot-petre." In
this state it is sent to market, and sells usually for sixteen
dollars per hundred weight. Sometimes it is dissolved in water,
reboiled, and recrystallized, when it is called refined, and sells
for twenty dollars per hundred. One bushel of the clay dirt yields
from 3 to 5lbs. and the black dirt from 7 to 10lbs. of the rough
shot-petre. The same dirt, if returned to the cave, and scattered
on the rocks, or mingled with the new earth, becomes impregnated
with the nitrate again, and in a few months may be thrown into the
hopper, and be subjected to a new process.

The causes which have produced the nitric salts of these caves, may
not yet have been fully developed. But it is highly probable, they
are to be ascribed to the decomposition of animal substances.

It is reasonable to suppose, that in an uncultivated country
they would become the abodes of wild animals, and even of savage
men. That they have been used by the natives as burial places,
is certain. In one which I entered, I counted a hundred human
skulls, in the space of twenty feet square. All the lesser and
more corruptible parts of each skeleton had mouldered to dust, and
the whole lay in the greatest confusion. I have heard of many such
caves, and to this day some of the Indians are known to deposit
their dead in them. From the decomposition of such substances, it
is well known the acid of the nitric salts arises, and it would of
course unite with the lime every where present, and form nitrate of


4. I have but one more article of curiosity to mention under this
division. It is one of those artificial _mounds_ which occur so
frequently in the western country. I have seen many of them, and
read of more. But never of one of such dimensions as that which I
am now to describe.

It is situated in the interior of the Cherokee nation, on the north
side of the Etowee, vulgarly called Hightower River, one of the
branches of the Koosee. It stands upon a strip of alluvial land,
called _River Bottom_. I visited it in company with eight Indian
chiefs. The first object which excited attention was an excavation
about twenty feet wide, and in some parts ten feet deep. Its course
is nearly that of a semicircle; the extremities extending towards
the river, which forms a small elbow. I had not time to examine it
minutely. An Indian said it extended each way to the river, and
had several unexcavated parts, which served for passages to the
area which it encloses. To my surprise, I found no embankment on
either side of it. But I did not long doubt to what place the earth
had been removed; for I had scarcely proceeded two hundred yards,
when, through the thick forest trees, a stupendous pile met the
eye, whose dimensions were in full proportion to the intrenchment.
I had at the time no means of taking an accurate admeasurement.
To supply my deficiency, I cut a long vine, which was preserved
until I had an opportunity of ascertaining its exact length. In
this manner I found the distance from the margin of the summit to
the base, to be one hundred and eleven feet. And judging from the
degree of its declivity, the _perpendicular height_ cannot be less
than seventy-five feet. The circumference of the base, including
the feet of three parapets, measured one thousand one hundred and
fourteen feet. One of these parapets extends from the base to the
summit, and can be ascended, though with difficulty, on horseback.
The other two, after rising thirty or forty feet, terminate in a
kind of triangular platform. Its top is level, and at the time
I visited it, was so completely covered with weeds, bushes, and
trees of most luxuriant growth, that I could not examine it as
well as I wished. Its diameter, I judged, must be one hundred and
fifty feet. On its sides and summit, are many large trees of the
same description, and of equal dimensions with those around it.
One beach-tree, near the top, measured ten feet nine inches in
circumference. The earth on one side of the tree, was three and a
half feet lower than on the opposite side. This fact will give a
good idea of the degree of the mound's declivity. An oak, which
was lying down on one of the parapets, measured at the distance of
six feet from the butt, without the bark, twelve feet four inches
in circumference. At a short distance to the southeast is another
mound, in ascending which I took thirty steps. Its top is encircled
by a breastwork three feet high, intersected through the middle
with another elevation of a similar kind. A little farther is
another mound, which I had not time to examine.

On these great works of art, the Indians gazed with as much
curiosity as any white man. I inquired of the oldest chief, if the
natives had any tradition respecting them; to which he answered in
the negative. I then requested each to say what he supposed was
their origin. Neither could tell: though all agreed in saying;
"they were never put up by our people." It seems probable they
were erected by another race, who once inhabited the country.
That such a race existed, is now generally admitted. Who they
were, and what were the causes of their degeneracy, or of their
extermination, no circumstances have yet explained. But this is no
reason why we should not, as in a hundred other instances, infer
the existence of the cause from its effects, without any previous
knowledge of its history.

In regard to the objects which these mounds were designed to
answer, it is obvious they were not always the same. Some were
intended as receptacles for the dead. These are small, and are
distinguished by containing human bones. Some may have been
designed as sites for public buildings, whether of a civil or
religious kind; and others no doubt were constructed for the
purposes of war. Of this last description, is the Etowee mound. In
proof of its suitableness for such a purpose, I need only mention
that the Cherokees in their late war with the Creeks, secured its
summit by pickets, and occupied it as a place of protection for
hundreds of their women and children. Gladly would I have spent
a day in examining it more minutely; but my companions, unable
to appreciate my motives, grew impatient, and I was obliged to
withdraw, and leave a more perfect observation and description to
some one else.

_Alluvial Formation._

I will now call your attention to the last geological division
which came under my observation. It is the alluvial tract,
extending from the Dividing Ridge already mentioned, to the Gulf of
Mexico. This Ridge is the last range of high land which I crossed
on the journey to New Orleans, and lies about six hundred miles
north of the Gulf of Mexico. Its course at the place I crossed
it, is a little south of west. It divides the waters of the
Tennessee from those which proceed directly to the gulf. Travellers
always observe it. They often mentioned it to me as the southern
boundary of the _stony country_. After crossing it, you see no
more limestone; and, which excites more joy in the traveller, no
more of the silicious gravel, with which it is associated, and
which is so troublesome to the feet of horses. The soil consists
of a soft clay, or light sand, on which you seldom meet with a
stone of any kind. The surface of the earth is undulating and
hilly, but not mountainous. The water-courses do not move rapidly
and tumultuously, as in the limestone country; but form in the
soft earth, deep trenches, through which they glide smoothly and
silently along. The smallest rivulet often has a trench ten feet
deep; and the earth over which it passes, is continually yielding
to its gentle attrition.

The only minerals which I observed, are sandstone, common and
ferruginous; silicious pebbles in beds of creeks, and occasionally
on the uplands; earthy ores of iron, particularly red oxides, and
petrifactions of shells, wood, &c. In addition to these, it may
here be mentioned that galena has been found in small quantities at
Gibson's Port, and at Ellis's Cliffs, in the State of Mississippi:
a crystal of amethyst, in the same state, by Mr. Blannerhassett;
and a great variety of useful ochres, in many places on the banks
of the Mississippi.

In the geological map attached to Professor Cleaveland's
Mineralogy, the alluvial country bordering on the Gulf of Mexico,
is represented as terminating at Natchez. But why its termination
is placed here, I am unable to understand. The country above and
below Natchez, so far as it has come under my observation, presents
no difference of appearance in its geology, or mineralogy. I
am aware that at Natchez, when the water of the Mississippi is
lowest, a soft rock is seen, from which lime has been obtained.
But this rock is two hundred feet below the surface of the
adjoining country; and admitting that it is a limestone rock,
there is no difficulty in supposing it may constitute the basis
of the alluvial deposit which rests upon it. That the incumbent
earth is _alluvial_, can be doubted, I think, by no one who has
had an opportunity of examining it. By means of a road, which has
been cut obliquely down the side of the bluff, distinct layers of
clay, sand, and pebbles, have been exposed for the whole distance
from the summit to the base. The same character is observed at a
distance from the river, where the earth has been excavated by
washing, or digging. In the vicinity of the town, there is a
curious exhibition of the fact. A stream of water has worn away the
earth to the depth of fifteen or twenty feet, and is continually
lengthening the chasm, in the direction opposite to its own course.
Thus, as the water flows from the town, the chasm approaches it. In
examining the cause of this fact, I perceived it was owing chiefly
to the difference of cohesion in the alluvial deposits, of which
the earth is formed. That at the surface, being a thick loam,
wears away with more difficulty than the deposit below it, which
consists of a loose sand. The consequence is, that the water, which
has once obtained a perpendicular passage of a few inches through
the first, washes away the second with such rapidity, that it is
constantly undermining it. This occasions a perpetual caving in of
the surface, in a direction opposite to the course of the stream.
The same fact is observed in many parts of the country for a great
distance above Natchez. If there be wanting any other fact to prove
that the earth on which the town of Natchez stands, is alluvial, it
is found in the effect which the Mississippi has upon the base of
the Natchez bluff. In consequence of a bend in the river, the whole
force of its current is thrown against this base. If it consisted
of solid rock, the river would probably have no effect upon it; but
of such loose and friable materials is it composed, that the river
is continually undermining it, and producing effects not less to
be dreaded than those of an earthquake. Several years ago, a great
number of acres sunk fifty feet or more below the general surface
of the hill; and in 1805, there was another caving of that part
directly over the small village at the landing. Several houses
were buried in consequence of it, and strong fears are entertained
by the inhabitants, that the same cause will yet submerge in the
Mississippi, the whole of the present landing-place.

These facts, I think you will say, furnish satisfactory evidence
of the alluvial character of the country at Natchez. The same
character belongs to the whole extent south of the Dividing Ridge.
This may be safely inferred from the general features of the
country. But I have two facts, of a geological kind, to mention,
both of which go to confirm the opinion.

1. A well was dug in the Choctaw nation, at the agency of the
United States, in the year 1812 or 1813, under the direction of
Silas Dinsmore, Esq. the agent. The excavation was continued
to the depth of one hundred and seventy-two feet. No water was
found. At no great distance from the surface, marine exuviæ were
found in abundance. The shells were small, and imbedded in a soft
clay, similar to marine earth. This formation continued till the
excavation ceased. Dispersed through it, were found lumps of
selenite, or foliated gypsum, some of which were half as large as a
man's fist. Specimens of the earth, the exuviæ, and the selenite,
have been transmitted for your examination. This excavation was
made one hundred and twenty miles north northeast of Natchez. The
Pearl River is four miles to the east of the place, and is the only
considerable stream in this part of the country.

2. In the Chickasaw nation, one hundred and seventy miles north of
the Choctaw agency, commence beds of oyster-shells, which continue
to be seen at intervals for twelve miles. Four miles from the
first bed, you come to what is called "Chickasaw Old Town," where
they are observed in great abundance. They are imbedded in low
ridges of a white marl. They appear to be of two kinds. Specimens
of each, and also of the marl, you have received. "Chickasaw Old
Town," is a name now appropriated to a prairie, on a part of which
there formerly stood a small village of Chickasaws. The prairie is
twenty miles long, and four wide. The shells occur in three places
as you cross it, and again, on two contiguous hills to the east of
it, at the distance of four miles. They do not cover the surface
merely. They form a constituent part of the hills or plains in
which they are found. Wherever the earth has been washed so as to
produce deep gutters, they are seen in greatest abundance. Nor are
they petrifactions, such as are found in rocks. They have the same
appearance as common oyster-shells, they lie loose in the earth,
and thus indicate a comparatively recent origin. They occur _three
hundred miles_ northeast of Natchez, and but _sixty_ miles south of
the Dividing Ridge.

If the country north of Natchez is alluvial, no one will doubt
it is so from this place to the Gulf of Mexico. At Baton Rouge,
one hundred and forty miles north of New Orleans, you meet the
first elevated land in ascending from the gulf. The banks of the
Mississippi are higher than the interior, and would be annually
overflowed by the river, but for a narrow embankment of earth about
six feet high, called the Levee. By means of this, a narrow strip
of land, from half a mile to a mile in width, is redeemed, and
cultivated with cotton and the sugar cane, to the great advantage
of the planter. Generally, within one mile from the river, there is
an impenetrable morass. The country has every where the appearance
of an origin comparatively recent. Not a rock on which you can
stand, and no mountain to gladden the eye; you seem to have left
the older parts of creation to witness the encroachments which
the earth is continually making upon the empire of the sea; and
on arriving at the mouth of the Mississippi, you find the grand
instruments of nature in active operation, producing with slow, but
certain gradations, the same results.

_A destructive Insect._

But I will not enlarge on a fact already familiar. I will ask your
further indulgence only, while I communicate an authentic and
curious fact for the information of the zoologist.

In the Choctaw country, one hundred and thirty miles northeast of
Natchez, a part of the public road is rendered famous on account of
the periodical return of a poisonous and destructive fly. Contrary
to the custom of other insects, it always _appears_ when the _cold
weather_ commences in December, and as invariably _disappears_
on the approach of _warm weather_, which is about the first of
April. It is said to have been remarked first in the winter of
1807, _during a snowstorm_; when its effects upon cattle and horses
were observed to be similar to those of the gnat and musqueto, in
summer, except that they were more severe. It continued to return
at the same season of the year, without producing extensive
mischief, until the winter of 1816, when it began to be generally
fatal to the horses of travellers. So far as I recollect, it
was stated, that from thirty to forty travelling horses were
destroyed during this winter. The consequences were alarming. In
the wilderness, where a man's horse is his chief dependence, the
traveller was surprised and distressed to see the beast sicken and
die in convulsions, sometimes within three hours after encountering
this little insect. Or if the animal were fortunate enough to live,
a sickness followed, commonly attended with the sudden and entire
shedding of the hair, which rendered the brute unfit for use.
Unwilling to believe that effects so dreadful could be produced by
a cause apparently trifling, travellers began to suspect that the
Indians, or others, of whom they obtained food for their horses,
had, for some base and selfish end, mingled poison with it. The
greatest precaution was observed. They refused to stop at any house
on the way, and carried, for the distance of forty or fifty miles,
their own provision; but after all suffered the same calamities.
This excited a serious inquiry into the true cause of their
distress. The fly, which has been mentioned, was known to be a most
singular insect, and peculiarly troublesome to horses. At length
it was admitted by all, that the cause of the evils complained of
could be no other than this insect. Other precautions have since
been observed, particularly that of riding over the road infested
with it _in the night_; and now it happens that comparatively
few horses are destroyed. I am unable to describe it from my own
observation. I passed over the same road in April last, only two
weeks after it disappeared, and was obliged to take the description
from others. Its colour is a dark brown; it has an elongated head,
with a small and sharp proboscis; and is in size between the gnat
and musqueto. When it alights upon a horse, it darts through the
hair, much like a gnat, and never quits its hold until removed by
force. When a horse stops to drink, swarms fly about the head, and
crowd into the mouth, nostrils, and ears; hence it is supposed the
poison is communicated inwardly. Whether this be true or not, the
most fatal consequences result. It is singular, that from the
time of its first appearance, it has never extended for a greater
distance than forty miles, in one direction, and usually, it is
confined to fifteen miles. In no other part of the country has it
ever been seen. From this fact, it would seem probable that the
cause of its existence is local. But what it is, none can tell.
After the warm weather commences, it disappears as effectually from
human observation, as if it were annihilated. Towards the close of
December it springs up all at once into being again, and resumes
the work of destruction. A fact, so singular, I could not have
ventured to state, without the best evidence of its reality. All
the circumstances here related, are familiar to hundreds, and were
in almost every man's mouth, when I passed through the country.
In addition to this, they were confirmed by the account which I
received from Col. John M'Kee, a gentleman of much intelligence and
respectability, who is the present agent of the general government
for the Choctaw nation. He has consented to obtain specimens of
the insect for your examination, when it returns again; and will,
I hope, accompany the transmission with a more perfect description
than it has been possible for me to communicate.

In concluding this narrative of facts, I should be glad to take a
comprehensive view of the whole. The bold features in the geology
of the United States, as they are drawn by the Blue Ridge, the
Cumberland with its associated mountains, and the Dividing Ridge,
deserve to be distinctly and strongly impressed upon the mind. Such
is the order and regularity of their arrangement, that they can
hardly fail to conduct the attentive observer to important results.
What has now been said of them, is but an epitome of the whole. I
trust the public will soon read, in the pages of your Journal, a
detail more perfect and more interesting. And allow me to suggest,
whether, under the auspices of our learned societies, some men
of science might not be employed and supported in exploring the
country, with the prospect of greatly enlarging the science of our
country, and of enriching our Journals and Cabinets of Natural
History. Tours of discovery have often been made for other objects,
and with success. Our country yields to no other in the variety,
or the value of its natural productions. We owe it to ourselves and
to the world, to search them out with diligence and without delay.

_Somers, (N. Y.) Oct. 1818._

ART. II. _On the Origin of Prairies._

  _St. Louis, (Missouri Ter.) March 3, 1819._


The probable cause of the origin and continuance of _prairies_
has been the subject of much speculation among the learned and
curious. The inquiry is interesting; and many theories have arisen;
but although plausible and ingenious, they are, in my opinion,
unfounded in fact.

I should be glad to see the following remarks, which were called
forth more particularly by the speculations of Caleb Atwater, Esq.
(See No. 2. p. 116. of this work) appear in your valuable Journal
of Science; and they are, for that purpose, at your service.

  With high respect, I am, Sir, your's,
  R. W. WELLS.

  _Benjamin Silliman, Esq._

Mr. Atwater, after describing the prairies and barrens, says, that
according to the common opinion, they "were occasioned entirely
by the burning of the woods," but, "erroneous information first
propagated such an opinion, and blind credulity has extended it
down to us." Mr. A. goes on to affirm that, "wherever prairies and
barrens are found, there, for a long space of time, water once
stood, but was gradually drained off." The writer of this having
often visited and observed with attention the nature and appearance
of the prairies on the Alleghany mountains, in the states of Ohio,
Indiana, and Illinois, and having long been employed by the United
States as a surveyor in the prairie country of the Missouri and
Missisippi, thinks he may venture to oppose these speculations
without being thought presumptuous. He is of opinion, that the
vast prairies and barrens, extending over the greater part of the
western states, and over nearly all Louisiana, were primitively
occasioned, and have been since continued, by the _combustion of
vegetables_, and that _water_ had no agency in their formation.

In order to prove the high prairies of the state of Ohio to have
been once covered by the waters of Lake Erie, Mr. A. maintains,
that the channel of the Niagara river has been worn down "_several
hundred feet_" by the attrition of its waters. Mr. A. should have
shown, that the banks of the Niagara are, at this time, several
hundred feet high, or, like the Potomac, at Harper's Ferry, has
broken through a mountain "several hundred feet" high; but neither
the one nor the other is the fact; the face of the country, on
either side of the river, is comparatively low and champaign; and
were it possible for the waters of the lake to rise considerably
above their present level, they would meet with no obstruction or
impediment, for many miles on either side the river, but would be
precipitated over the cataract, into Ontario, and down the St.
Lawrence to the Atlantic. But supposing there had been a mountain
running between Lakes Erie and Ontario of sufficient height to
prevent the water of the former from passing into the latter, it
must evidently have found other places through which to escape, and
before it would rise high enough to overflow the elevated region of
Madison and Fayette counties, in Ohio, it would have passed over
into the heads of the Alleghany. But it is impossible to imagine
this, unless we suppose the Atlantic to have been six or seven
hundred feet higher than at present, which, according to Mr. A.
would have made prairie of all the Atlantic states.

The fact of shells and other marine substances having been found
in a few places, by digging in the prairies, proves nothing, or
proves too much, for they are found in equal or greater quantities
all over America, in the sides and near the summit of the Alleghany
mountains; on the Andes, in South America, and the Alps, in
Europe. The resemblance which the soil, in the low prairies, and
not in the high, bears to the _alluvial_, can justly be attributed,
it is presumed, to the leaves and other vegetables and light
materials of which they are composed, having been washed by heavy
rains, for ages past, from the higher to the lower places. This
will also account for the circumstance of trees growing upon the
summits of the hills of steep ascent: being thin and poor, the
grass neither grows sufficiently long or thick to kill the timber
when fired. They _could not_ have been islands in this fairy
lake; because their summits are frequently much _lower_ than high
prairie flats a few miles distant. These are facts which will be
recollected by those who have ever travelled through a prairie
country of any extent.

But suppose it to have been proved, that the waters of Lake Erie
once overspread the state of Ohio, from its present shore to
Chillicothe, (a supposition which I trust has however been shown to
be visionary) does it follow that the prairies were occasioned by
such overflowing? If the water, by covering the country, prevented
the timber from growing, should we not naturally look for the
largest timber on the higher grounds which would be first forsaken
by the waters, and for small timber on the low grounds, where the
water remained longest? If this be true, (and it is unquestionable)
we should then look for prairies on the low grounds bordering on
Lakes Erie, Huron, and Michigan; and the thickly timbered country
would be on the high land, near the sources of the rivers. But the
contrary is absolutely the fact: we find heavy timbered land, and
no _prairies_, in the low countries north of the lakes, and none
south, either in Michigan territory or elsewhere, until we arrive
near the sources of the rivers. It is true, that the water standing
in ponds will prevent the timber from growing; but the difference
is readily observed between prairies, properly so called, and those

But to prove farther that water had no agency in bringing the
prairies into existence, we may mention those on and near the
summit of the Alleghany mountains, (principally in Alleghany
County.[47]) Many of those prairies are ten or twelve miles in
length, and three or four in width. Will it be pretended that
the sides of those mountains were also lakes? Farther--the most
extensive prairies known, are the very high plains immediately west
of the Rocky Mountains, and east of the mountains near the sources
of the Arkansaw and Missouri rivers, extending even on the spurs of
those mountains; a country the highest perhaps in North America,
with a great and continued descent to the Pacific on the one side,
and to the Gulf of Mexico on the other.

The barrens, also, found in Kentucky, are another evidence that
water had no agency in their formation--they are situate, it is
believed, in the elevated parts of the country exclusively.

The writer of this, deeming it unnecessary to say more, or to
produce more facts, (although much more may be said, and many more
facts produced) to prove that prairies were not lakes, will now
endeavour to prove that they were occasioned by the _combustion of

Prairies are found in those countries only that are congenial to
the growth of grass, and only where the soil is sufficiently rich
to produce it luxuriantly--they are found commonly on high plains,
sufficiently drained to prevent water from remaining on them the
whole year; for it is by no means necessary that they should be
always dry; on the contrary, if they are sufficiently level to
prevent the rains from running off immediately, the grass will grow
thicker and higher--but they must be sufficiently dry to burn, at
least once in two or three years, during the long, dry season,
called _Indian summer_. It has been universally remarked, that
these seasons are much longer as we proceed westerly--commencing
usually in October, and continuing a month and a half or two
months, during which the vegetation is killed by the frosts, and
dried by the sun; the wet prairies are also dried, and before the
season has expired, the grass is perfectly combustible.

The Indians, it is presumed, (and the writer, from a residence in
their country and with them, is well acquainted with their customs)
burn the woods, not _ordinarily_ for the purpose of taking or
catching game, as suggested by Mr. A. but for many other advantages
attending that practice. If the woods be not burned as usual, the
hunter finds it impossible to kill the game, which, alarmed at the
great noise made in walking through the dry grass and leaves, flee
in all directions at his approach. Also the Indians travel much
during the winter, from one village to another, and to and from
the various hunting grounds, which becomes extremely painful and
laborious, from the quantity of briers, vines, grass, &c. To remedy
these and many other inconveniences, even the woods were originally
burned so as to cause prairies, and for the same and like reasons
they continue to be burned towards the close of the Indian summer.

Woodland is not commonly changed to prairie by one burning, but
by several successive conflagrations; the first will kill the
undergrowth, which causing a greater opening, and admitting the sun
and air more freely, increases the quantity of grass the ensuing
season: the conflagration consequently increases, and is now
sufficiently powerful to destroy the smaller timber; and on the
third year you behold an open prairie.

Ordinarily, all the country, of a nature to become prairie, is
already in that state; yet the writer of this has seen, in the
country between the Missouri and Mississippi, after unusual dry
seasons, more than one hundred acres of woodland together converted
into prairie. And again, where the grass has been prevented from
burning by accidental causes, or the prairie has been depastured
by large herds of domestic cattle, it will assume, in a few years,
the appearance of a young forest. Numerous proofs of this fact can
be adduced, but a few shall suffice. The vicinity of St. Louis and
St. Charles affords instances. Both these beautiful places are
situated on what are termed first and second bottoms, or flats--the
former on the Missisippi, the latter on the Missouri; the second
or upper bottoms, in both, are high plains, that commence within
a few hundred yards of the rivers, and extend back many miles;
all the old French inhabitants will tell you, that the prairies
formerly came immediately up to those places. Now the surrounding
country for several miles is covered with a growth of trees of four
or five inches diameter, near the towns where the burning first
ceased, and gradually diminishing in size as you recede, until you
at length gain the open prairies. So the barrens in Kentucky; many
of the first settlers of that state distinctly recollect when many
of those barrens were clear prairies, now partially covered with
small trees. It is deemed unnecessary to offer more proofs, or
additional arguments, in support of the opinion that the prairies
were occasioned by _fire_, and not by _water_. Indeed one glance at
the maps of those extensive prairie countries, surveyed by order
of government, where the prairies and woodland are distinguished
and correctly delineated, should carry conviction. The timber will
be there observed to skirt the rivers; in the country near their
sources a few solitary trees are seen, close on the banks, secure
from the fires, and increasing in numbers as the rivers increase in
size, and the low grounds become more extensive.

The view given of the prairies by Mr. A. is correct; but was
certainly painted in the _winter_ season--they are, at that
season, bleak and uncomfortable both to the feelings and sight;
but a full return is made to both when the spring opens. The
prairies (particularly to the west) are then covered with the
richest verdure, interspersed with an immense variety of wild
flowers, that send forth the most grateful odours. Ascend one
of the small hills, and you have a prospect as delightful as it
is possible for the imagination to conceive. Far as the eye can
carry you, a delightful country extends, through which numerous
streams wind their serpentine courses, with groves and clumps of
trees at intervals upon their banks. On one hand, at an immense
distance, the small hills and groves are seen rising above the blue
horizon; on the other, the view is pleasantly terminated by the
wood on the low grounds skirting the river to which the smaller
streams are tributary--while herds of buffalo, elk, deer, and other
animals, are frequently seen slowly travelling to and from the
watering-places, or grazing on the plains. The inhabited parts of
the country present a prospect still more pleasing; around the
margin of those extensive rich prairies, numerous habitations are
seen, withdrawn a short distance in the wood, from the winter's
cold and summer's heat--their finely cultivated fields lie in the
prairies, which yield at once to the plough, without the previous
Herculean labour of demolishing the forest. The area between the
farms is a common of pasture to the numerous herds during the
spring, summer, and autumn, and a small part mowed affords hay
for the winter. The farmer who takes up his habitation in the
neighbourhood of the prairies, has _many_ of the advantages of an
_old_ inhabited country, and _all_ the advantages of the _new_.

ART. III. _Sketch of the Mineralogy and Geology of the Vicinity of
Williams' College, Williamstown, Mass. By_ PROFESSOR DEWEY, _of
Williams' College, in a letter to the Editor_.

The following sketch includes a space extending from Hoosack
mountain on the east, to the State of New-York on the west, and
a small distance into Vermont on the north. The accompanying map
shows the relative situation of the streams, and the principal
hills and mountains. The map is an enlarged copy of Carleton's map
of this part of the state, with one or two corrections, which truth
required. The latitude and longitude are probably not perfectly

[Illustration: A Geological MAP _of a part of Massachusetts on_
Connecticut River 1817.]

[Illustration: _Transverse Section of Rock Strata from Hoosack
Mountain to Eleven Miles East of Connecticut River._]

Williams' College is situated in a valley, having on the west the
hills of the _Taconick_[48] range; on the east, _Saddle Mountain_,
which separates it for the most part from Adams; and on the north,
and northeast, two hills which belong to the southwestern part of
the range of the _Green Mountains_. _Hoosack River_, rising several
miles at the southeast, and passing through the northeastern part
of Williamstown, winds its course northwest, to the Hudson. It is
an inconsiderable stream, about six rods in width, and its current
is rapid. From the south, runs _Green River_, a smaller stream, and
enters the Hoosack one mile northeast of the college. The _green_
colour of this stream, appears to be caused by a _magnesian_ clay,
which is washed from its banks at the south part of the town. At
the west is _Westbrook_, rising in Williamstown, and entering the
Hoosack one mile and a half northwest of the college. The _soil_
in this whole tract is generally _clayey_, rather light for such
a soil, and very rich. A gravelly soil appears in a few places,
especially at the northern part. The _interval_ on the Hoosack
extends only a small distance from its banks, rarely exceeding,
and often much less, than half a mile, and presents the common
appearances of _alluvial_ land. Rising from ten to twenty feet
above this interval, the soil is in various places filled with
rolled stones of quartz and limestone, as if the Hoosack had once
been much above the banks which confine it at present. It is not
improbable that its waters were formerly intercepted by the hills
in Pownal, five miles at the northwest, forming a small lake in
this valley.

The hills of the _Taconick_ range, (A[49]) on which passes the line
between Massachusetts and New-York, have generally an elevation
from twelve hundred to fourteen hundred feet; _Pownal Mountain_ (B)
on the north, about fourteen hundred; and _Oak hill_ (D) on the
northeast, twelve hundred feet above the east college (C.) _Saddle
Mountain_ (EF) is an insulated mass, separated from the Taconick
range by the valley of Williamstown, and from Hoosack Mountain, by
the valley in Adams. It lies about south southwest, and is nearly
eight miles in length, and two in breadth. It is composed of two
ranges, the eastern and highest (FG) being in Adams. The mountain
has its name from two of its peaks, which present at a distance the
appearance of the two elevations of a _saddle_. The west range (E)
is divided into _two parts_ quite to its base, which with the slope
of the east range encloses, on three sides, an irregular hollow,
called the _Hopper_.(H) The northern part (E) of the west range
is nearly two miles in length, and rises to the height of eighteen
hundred feet; the southern (I) rises abruptly into a peak of the
elevation of seventeen hundred feet. The height of the valley
between the two ranges is about fourteen hundred feet. You enter
the _Hopper_ from the west, passing along a branch of Green River,
and a romantic, wild, and sublime prospect opens before you. Nearly
east of the entrance into the Hopper, lies the highest point of the
Saddle, familiarly called _Gray Lock_, (F) being about twenty-eight
hundred feet above the college, and probably four thousand feet
above the _tide-water_ of the Hudson at Troy. This is the highest
land in Massachusetts. About two miles north northeast, is the
northern peak (G) elevated twenty-three hundred feet. The valley in
Adams is bounded on the east by Hoosack mountain, (K) elevated from
fourteen hundred to eighteen hundred feet, and extending several
miles west of south: it forms a part of the range which commences
at _West Rock_ in Connecticut.

The country included in this sketch is principally _primitive_;
lying on the west of the summit of the primitive range, which
passes southerly into Connecticut. The rocks and minerals will be
mentioned in the following order.

1. _Granite._ A few pieces have been found at the foot of Oak
hill, one mile northeast of the college. It consists principally
of feldspar. Four miles east, are large masses of granite on both
sides of the Hoosack, and on ascending Hoosack mountain they become
more numerous. The principal part of this is quartz, often of a
purple colour; the mica black, and the rocks exceedingly hard.
I have never noticed any minerals imbedded in it. The vortex of
Pownal mountain is also granitic.

2. _Gneiss_ and _Mica Slate_. I connect these two, because they are
not often distinct, and appear to pass into each other. They are
found in large strata on Hoosack Mountain, on a hill (L) connected
with Saddle Mountain, and on the east side of Saddle Mountain. The
highest and the west ridge of Saddle Mountain are mica slate. The
_Hopper_ shows the inclination of the strata quite to the base of
the mountain. The inclination is to the east and northeast, from
ten to forty degrees. On the southwest mountain of _Saddle_, the
strata are bare to the summit for a considerable distance, and are
very fine grained mica slate, having somewhat the appearance of
a _soapstone slate_. By this name they are called in Mr. Eaton's
Index to Geology. Some of the rocks appear to be _talcose_. I
have been able, however, to detect but a very minute quantity
of magnesia in any specimens I have tried, though I obtained
a considerable proportion of alumine. The higher hills of the
Taconick range are composed principally of a similar slate, lying
in the same direction, and with similar inclination; but it appears
to have passed still farther from mica slate. At the northwest
corner of the state, which is near the foot of the ridge in this
place, the rock is very similar to some of that on the southwest
mountain mentioned above. About a mile northwest of this _corner_,
the rocks are cleft in several places, and in one, to such a depth,
that the snow and ice remain here through the year. The _Snow Hole_
(M) is about thirty feet long, and nearly as deep at the east
end, ascends to the west, or towards the summit of the ridge, and
is from ten to twenty feet wide. When I visited it in June, the
snow was six feet deep on ice of unknown depth. The rock is here
passing into _argillaceous slate_; and in many places it becomes
_argillaceous_ and _chlorite slate_. For the other rock, you have,
I believe, proposed the name _talcose slate_.

3. _Quartz._ Though quartz is scattered through all the preceding
rock in masses of different sizes, it is found in great quantity on
the northeast part of Saddle Mountain, 300 or 400 feet above the
college, and thence to the Hoosack along the side of the hill (L.)
It is granular, often white and translucent, and often coloured
with oxyd of iron. It forms _Stone Hill_, (N) a mile southwest of
the college, on the vertex of which is argillaceous slate. This
hill slopes to West Brook, where quartz often forms perpendicular
banks from 50 to 100 feet high. Here also argillaceous slate rests
on the quartz, as well as on the vertex, and on the east side of
Stone Hill. Quartz appears again on the opposite side of West
Brook, but further north, on a hill connected with the Taconick
range. On these two hills, it lies in large strata, inclining,
like the mica slate, to the east and northeast, often divided by
veins into rhomboidal masses. On the east side of Stone Hill, it
is more granular, and may perhaps be called _arenaceous quartz_,
containing a larger proportion of iron. Near the base of Hoosack
Mountain, similar quartz is found, which extends round the north
side of the Hoosack to Oak Hill, (D) which is wholly composed of
it. It lies in rounded fragments, called _hardheads_, through
the northern part of the valley, and on the sides of Oak Hill in
huge rocks, presenting nearly perpendicular fronts from 20 to 50
feet in height, and many rods in length. The strata are in some
places horizontal, and in others nearly perpendicular. In one
place it forms plates, from 2 to 5 feet on a side, and from half
an inch to several inches in thickness, which are nearly perfect
rhomboids, the edges never being perpendicular to the sides. Most
of the quartz, except the white, yields a small portion of lime,
and has been called _calcareous quartz_. _Greasy quartz_, _rose
quartz_, hornstone, and _rock crystal_, are occasionally found; the
last in considerable quantity south of Stone Hill. On the stream
which issues from the _Hopper_, is arenaceous quartz of a slaty
structure, which is an excellent stone for sharpening the _chisels_
used by _stonecutters_.

4. _Granular Limestone_ is abundant at the _Cave_ or _Falls_, in
Adams, and on both sides of the Hoosack. The _Cave_ or _Falls_,
(O) is a singular chasm between limestone rocks. A small stream,
which appears once to have run on the surface of the hollow between
two small elevations, has now worn a passage many feet in depth
through the limestone. The chasm is narrow, winding in its course
several rods long, and its opposite sides were connected, till
four years ago, by a natural bridge of limestone. From the bridge
to the water is 70 feet. There is a dark cavern of several feet
diameter, and some passages into the rocks. The white marble walls,
the foaming of the water below, the piles and irregularity of the
rocks, and the thick overhanging trees, make the scene very wild
and interesting. The limestone rests on mica slate. On the west
bank of the Hoosack, and east base of the hill, (L) the same
coarse-grained and white limestone is found, resting on the mica
slate at the west of it.

At the north and west base of Saddle Mountain, (E) and at a less
elevation than the quartz, are extensive strata of limestone,
inclining the same way as the mica slate of the mountain. It is
less distinctly granular, and less white than the other, but
belongs to the same rock. It forms tolerably good marble. Between
the strata are crystals of carbonate of lime, rhomboidal, and
tending to the _lenticular_ form. Some of these strata appear to be
composed of blended crystals of this kind. In one place are strata
of several rods in length and breadth, which are inclined to the
southwest, and thus lie against the mica slate of the mountain.
The inclination is about forty-five degrees. Unless this limestone
be connected with that on the east of Saddle Mountain, (and no
connexion has yet been traced,) it must be considered as lying on
both sides of the mica slate, or alternating with it.

5. _Argillaceous Slate_ rests on quartz on Stone Hill, and is
also found low down in the valley connected with limestone. It
constitutes the hill (P) connected with the Taconick range, and
also Northwest hill, (Q) whose base is compact limestone. A
few miles north, this slate is distinctly marked, and in about
12 miles, forms hills of _roof slate_ in Hosack, New-York.
It is annually carried in large quantities to Albany. On the
first-mentioned hill, it contains some _talc_.

6. _Aluminous slate._ This is found in argillaceous slate, in
Pownal, 5 miles north, at the base of a hill east of the Hoosack.
It is used to _set_ colours.

7. _Chlorite._ In rounded masses, generally with quartz, scattered
through the valley in Williamstown, and found at an elevation of
some hundred feet on the hills of the Taconick range. Chlorite
slate has already been mentioned as occurring on the same range.

8. _Rubble Stone._ In rounded masses through the valley.

9. _Compact Limestone._ In several places low in the valley. Near
the college it is white and deep gray. In the veins of the latter,
_talc_ is diffused in all directions. It contains silex, often from
3 to 15 per cent., and sometimes gives fire with steel. In some
cases it is earthy. On Green River, one and a half mile south of
the college, it lies in thin strata, which are divided by seams
into very regular rhomboidal plates of various sizes. On some
scattered fragments on this river, are found carbonate of lime in
crystals, with pieces of white feldspar. On West Brook, this gray
limestone is traversed by a vein of quartz, containing sulphuret
of iron. The strata of this rock are almost invariably inclined
to the east. A coarse _soapstone_ is found in the limestone near
the college, and a vein made up of brown argillaceous slate,
soapstone, quartz, and sulphuret of iron, passes through it. This
limestone appears to be very different from that at the base of
Saddle Mountain, and from that which yields the marble of Berkshire
county. It may still be _primitive_, but _primitive compact

10. _Granitell_ of Kirwan, _Quartz_, and _Feldspar_. This aggregate
forms extensive strata at the east base of Stone Hill. The
feldspar is diffused in grains through the quartz, and sometimes
crystalline, forming _porphyritic quartz_. This aggregate is often
compact and very hard, but frequently it is porous and hard,
forming good millstones. Sometimes the quartz appears in such
fragments, that the stone resembles _breccia_.

11. _Black Tourmaline._ In beautiful small six-sided prisms, in
scattered pieces of mica slate at the base of Stone Hill.

12. _Amianthus._ Only a small specimen, attached to _argillaceous

13. _Bitter Spar._ On compact limestone at West Brook. Some of the
crystals are rhomboids, and some appear to be the half of rhomboids
split through their longer diagonal.

14. _Jasper._ The common brown or red, and black, in small rounded
masses, and also a piece of variegated or striped jasper.

15. _Galena._ Only a specimen in the limestone on West Brook.

16. _Iron Ore._ _Bog ore_ on the Hoosack, a mile northeast of the
college. _Yellow earth_, from which _yellow ochre_ is obtained in
great quantity, in a hill (R) on the bank of Green River, 2 miles
south of the college.

At the north end of Saddle Mountain, but low down, yellow earth
is connected with _reddle_, or a substance much resembling it. It
is less hard than the common reddle, but is composed of the same

_Magnetic Oxyd of Iron_, regular octahedrons, in mica slate at the
base of Stone Hill.

_Supersulphuret of Iron_, massive and crystallized, in argillaceous
slate, mica slate, compact limestone, and quartz.

17. _Prase._ Beautiful, and containing sulphuret of iron; lately
found by Mr. Eaton, a little east of the summit of Hoosack
Mountain, in Florida.

18. _Puddingstone._ Where Pownal Mountain reaches the Hoosack, (T)
3 miles north of the college, are some hills of this aggregate. It
is composed of rounded masses of quartz, chlorite, and limestone,
of various sizes, connected by an argillaceous cement.

19. _Potters' Clay._ Excellent for vessels of common pottery.

The minerals of this section, it is obvious, are not very
important; but as connected with a transverse section of the
country, they possess considerable interest. For this reason they
have been particularly mentioned.

In the north part of Williamstown is a _mineral spring_, familiarly
called the _Sand Spring_ (S.) The water rises from several places
in a reservoir of about a rod in diameter, and from one to three
feet deep. It is very soft and warm, but contains very little
saline or earthy matter. Gas continually rises in it. It appears
much to resemble the spring at New Lebanon, New-York, and has
proved useful in the cure particularly of some _cutaneous_ diseases.

The _transverse section_, connected with the map, passes over
Stone Hill, and the north part of Saddle Mountain. The different
rocks are shown in the section, directly below their places on
the map, by drawing lines from the several strata parallel to the
sides of the map. This section is connected with that given by Mr.
Hitchcock, in the 2d number of this Journal. It ought perhaps to
be mentioned, that according to Mr. Eaton's account, the granite
of this section sinks under gneiss to the east, and rises again
in Hampshire County, "supporting the same rock of gneiss;" but
where it reappears, the granite contains "many imbedded minerals."
This section corresponds generally to the place and character of
the minerals in any section across Berkshire county. There are,
however, some peculiarities which may be mentioned at a future
day. The colouring corresponds to that on the geological map in
Cleaveland's Mineralogy.


_Williams' College, Jan. 27, 1819._

P.S. I have a part of a _rock crystal_, which contains, in a
hollow, a _liquid_ and a _little air_, and some _black_ or _brown
particles_, which just sink in the liquid. It was found several
years since at Diamond Hill in Catskill. This hill is only a
small eminence on the bank of the creek at that place, composed
of limestone, (if I have been correctly informed,) between the
strata of which, and on the side next the creek, this and other
rock crystals were found. I believe, Sir, you have one like the
above, obtained from the same place. The crystal, which was
generously given me by Mr. Van Loon, who found it, is only a part
of two crystals connected at their bases. Partly under one of the
solid angles formed by the united pyramids, is the hollow, about
⅝ inch long, about ⅜ filled with the air, and about ¼ inch wide.
The principal curiosity about it is the liquid. It has never been
known to _freeze_. It was exposed yesterday morning an hour to
an atmosphere 4 and 5 degrees below zero. It became less fluid,
for the bubble of air moved with less ease and rapidity. Still
the liquid was fluid. Its colour, which is naturally white, had a
slight tinge of yellow. The Rev. Mr. Schaeffer of New-York supposes
the black particles are bitumen. Is it possible the liquid is
_naptha_? This oil is sometimes colourless, and does not congeal
at zero, and that which I distilled from the Seneca oil, does
congeal at some degrees below zero. It can hardly be _salt water_,
unless it be _very salt_, and even then, it would have congealed at
the temperature of the air yesterday. What way can be devised to
ascertain what it is?

_Jan. 30, 1819._

After seeing the notice of the crystals found at Hudson by Mr.
Schaeffer, I wrote to a member of the Lyceum of Natural History,
New-York, rather more full an account than the above, of my
crystal, &c. I hope to ascertain, whether the liquid will congeal
at 10 or 20° below 0, but have some fear lest the crystal should be

  C. D.

ART. IV. _On the Tourmalines and other Minerals found at
Chesterfield and Goshen, Massachusetts, by Col._ GEORGE GIBBS.

(For the American Journal of Science.)

The schorl of the mineralogists of the last century united a
variety of substances which subsequent observations have separated
into several species. The green schorl is now the epidote, or the
Vesuvian, or the actynolite. The violet schorl, and the lenticular
schorl, are the axinite. The black volcanic schorl is the augite.
The white Vesuvian schorl is the sommite. The white grenatiform
is the leucite. The white prismatic is the pycnite, a species
of the topaz, and another is a variety of feldspar. Of the blue
schorl, one variety is the oxyd of titanium, another the sappare,
and another the phosphate of iron. The schorl cruciform is the
granatite. The octahedral schorl is the octahedrite, or anatase.
The red schorl of Hungary, and the purple of Madagascar, are
varieties of the oxyd of titanium. The spathique schorl is the

The black schorl, and the electric schorl, only remained, and to
avoid the confusion created by the use of the term schorl, the
name of tourmaline was given to this species by that celebrated
mineralogist, the Abbé Haüy.[50]

The tourmaline is found of almost every colour, and this variety
of colour caused at first a number to be formed into new species;
which are now considered only as varieties of the tourmaline: such
as the rubellite, the tourmaline apyre, and indicolite.

The different analyses of the tourmaline, however, affords a
greater variety of results than is known in almost any other

  The specific gravity of the black varies from 3.08 to 3.36
                              Green        from 3.15 to 3.36
                              Red          from 2.87 to 3.10

  Analysis gives Silex from    35 to 58
                 Alumine       20 to 48
                 Magnesia       0 to 10
                 Iron           0 to 23
                 Manganese      0 to 13
                 Alkali         0 to 10
                 Water          0 to  4

These differences must be in some measure ascribed to a defect in
the accuracy of some of the analyses. But it appears that iron has
not been discovered in the red tourmaline. It is not unworthy of
notice, that the red tourmaline is considered as infusible, but the
others fusible.

The red tourmaline has been the most valued, from its scarcity,
its employment in jewelry, and the beauty of its crystals. It has
been discovered in Siberia, in Moravia, in the East-Indies, and
in Massachusetts. In Siberia it is found in a vein of decomposed
feldspar in a fine-grained granite, with black tourmaline. In
Moravia with quartz and lepidolite (or rose-coloured mica) in
gneiss. In the East-Indies, at Ava and Ceylon, but its geological
situation is not known, though it is probably in gneiss or granite.

The red or rose tourmaline of Massachusetts, is found chiefly at
Chesterfield, in a subordinate bed of granite, contained in mica
slate. The mica slate is the predominant rock of the country.
It is fine grained, and contains an abundance of small garnets.
Direction of the strata north and south, varying a little easterly;
inclination perpendicular. The bed of granite is about three
hundred feet long, and from five to twenty feet broad. It is
contained in a narrow ridge of mica slate, which descends into,
and is lost in, a valley. The sides are precipitous; the highest
part is about forty feet high. On the east side a considerable part
of the granite has been destroyed by natural causes, leaving the
granite bare. The granite consists chiefly of granular feldspar,
with grains of white quartz, and a little light coloured mica, is
moderately fine grained, and of a grayish white colour. In addition
to tourmaline, it contains also emerald, some of the crystals of
which are from three to five inches in diameter. I succeeded in
getting one out of its matrix, which is three and a half inches in
diameter, and its summit (which is a plane without any additional
facettes) is perfect.

The tourmalines are contained chiefly in a false vein of silicious
feldspar and quartz, which begins in the centre of the upper edge
of the bed of granite, and passes obliquely, descending to the
northeast, about twenty feet, where it is intercepted from sight by
the mica slate. The vein is about one and a half foot thick in the
upper part, and not more than six or eight inches where it is lost.
This vein of silicious feldspar contains also a vein of bluish
white transparent quartz, which is from three to eight inches
thick, and passes through the centre of the vein of feldspar.

When I first examined this rock, soon after its discovery by
Dr. Hunt, of Northampton, I determined the feldspar to be a new
variety, which has been since confirmed by Professor Hauffman,
and now ranks as a new sub-species, under the name of silicious
feldspar. (P. 41, of the Mineralogical Table.)

The analysis of Professor Stromeyer, of Gottingen, gives,

  Silex                70.68
  Alumine              19.80
  Soda                  9.05
  Iron, Mag. and Lime    .38

The chief difference between this and the adularia is, that one
contains fourteen potash and the other nine soda. Between this and
the saussurite, or tenacious feldspar, the one contains eleven of
lime, and the other only a trace.

The silicious feldspar, which I suspect to be the basis of the
granite, crystallizes in thin rhomboidal tables. They are very
frangible, and have one clivage perpendicular to the faces of
the tables. Sometimes the tables have one lateral edge or more
truncated. In one fragment of a crystal I observed a very obtuse
acumination on the table, which appeared to be diedral, the sides
being placed on the obtuse lateral edges of the tables. On account
of the extreme frangibility of the crystals, it is certainly
extremely difficult to seize their characters. Specific gravity
only 2.333, probably owing to interstices between the tables. The
colour is white, translucid, passing to semi-transparent; lustre
sometimes dull, at others shining. The tables are sometimes so
aggregated that their edges being exposed, offer wedge-shaped and
stelliform figures. The tourmalines are chiefly contained in this
vein. They are red, or green, rarely blue or black.

The green tourmalines vary from one-eighth of an inch to one inch
in diameter; they are sometimes four inches in length, and are
entirely confined to the inner vein of quartz. They are triedral
prisms, with convex faces, striated longitudinally, and generally
traversed perpendicularly to the axis, with very small fissures
filled by some silicious substance, probably feldspar. These green
crystals are opaque. The red tourmaline is frequently enclosed
in the green. In certain parts of the vein almost every green
crystal encloses a red one, which always corresponds by its sides
and angles with the exterior crystal. Sometimes a thin layer
of talc intervenes between the outer and inner crystal. In one
specimen I found three crystals of the red aggregated together,
and enclosed in one of the green. In another crystal I found
pyrites in the place of the red tourmaline. The largest crystal
of the red was one quarter of an inch in diameter, and four
inches long. The red tourmalines vary in intensity of colour, and
frequently (particularly in the interior) pass into violet. They
pass from translucid to semi-transparent. I have found some that
were terminated by triedral pyramids. The crystals are generally
perpendicular to the sides of the vein. Small crystals of the red
often run from the vein of quartz into the adjoining feldspar.
The granite also contains minute crystals of dark and light blue
tourmaline, and pale green emerald, with a very few garnets and
pyrites. In the lower part of the vein, five to six feet from
its interruption by the mica slate, the red tourmaline scarcely
appears, and the vein contains chiefly bluish amorphous quartz and
green tourmaline. It is therefore probable that this vein will not
afford henceforward a great supply of this beautiful mineral.

About six miles from Chesterfield, in Goshen, is found the rose
mica, with tourmalines and emeralds interspersed in the granite.
Unfortunately the bed of granite has not been discovered, and
the specimens we possess are taken from loose rocks, scattered
over a small extent of ground in a valley, in the neighbourhood
of mica slate. The rose mica is found in a large grained granite
with amorphous quartz and silicious feldspar, crystallized and
amorphous. The mica is generally of a rose red, sometimes yellowish
green. It crystallizes in rhomboidal tables, rarely truncated on
the acute angles, passing into the hexaedral table. The tourmalines
are light and dark green and blue, of various shades of intensity,
frequently acicular and stellated. The black, the red, and the
violet tourmalines also occur, but more rarely. Sometimes the
green prisms enclose others of blue and black. Specific gravity
of these varieties from 3. to 3.1. The green and blue crystals in
this locality are translucid or semi-transparent. The feldspar is
generally white, rarely light blue. There are some emeralds in
the granite. Among some specimens which Mr. Weeks of New-York,
who discovered this locality, was so good as to give me, I found
a beautiful rose emerald in its matrix. It is a hexaedral prism,
about one and a quarter inch in diameter, the summit a plane, one
of the lateral edges has a truncature. About half of the diameter
of the prism is free from the matrix, and half an inch of the
prism. The colour is a pale rose, rather more transparent than the

The colour of the mica of the Goshen granite calls to mind the
lepidolite or lilalite, which (formerly considered as a distinct
species) has now been united to mica. The lepidolite of Rosena is
also accompanied by the tourmaline apyre, now the red tourmaline.

ART. V. _Observations on the Minerals connected with the Gneiss
range of Litchfield county, by Mr._ JOHN P. BRACE, _of Litchfield,

The gneiss formation is the most extensive of any in Litchfield
county, and embraces a number of very interesting minerals. It
extends east into Hartford county. On the north it runs into
Massachusetts, though frequently interrupted by the limestone
formation, which rests upon it. It forms the principal, and in many
cases the only rock of the eastern and northeastern sections of the
county, and of the towns of Litchfield, Goshen, Warren, Cornwall,
and Norfolk. In Washington and Canaan, it constitutes the rock of
the high mountains, and is a part of the same range in the other
towns, while the valleys and the more moderate elevations are
covered with limestone.

The river Housatonic appears to have made its way through this
range, for the same rock continues on the western side of the river
parallel to it in the mountains of Kent, Sharon, and Salisbury.
In Litchfield commences a range of porphyritic granite, or
_porphyritic gneiss_, which alternates with the common gneiss,
and in some instances rests upon it. This rock begins at Mount
Prospect, between Litchfield and Warren, and runs through South
Farms, Bethlem, and Watertown. The crystals of feldspar in it, are
often very perfect.

The primitive granite, as a rock, is not found, though it lies
scattered on the surface in great quantities, and large masses. The
graphic granite in this region is often remarkably fine. Mica slate
constitutes a considerable part of those rocks that rest on the
gneiss, though never found in such elevated situations. The mica
slate rocks are always inclined at a great angle with the horizon,
and follow the direction of the other range. Litchfield village,
Chesnut hill, and great part of Harwington, are entirely composed
of this rock. The Bantum and the Waterbury rivers have their
bottoms of it. Some of the brooks entering the Waterbury, have
cut their passage through the mica slate, leaving walls of 40 or
50 feet on each side, traversed by veins of a very coarse-grained
granite, and often much mixed with sulphuret of iron. The slate
near Harwington meeting-house contains a great quantity of
sulphuret of iron. Mica slate likewise lies on the sides of the
gneiss range in Canaan and Salisbury, where it dips under the
limestone. _Sienite_ is scattered on the surface in large masses,
especially where the porphyritic gneiss is found. Sometimes,
however, the masses are so large as to form mountains. Mount
Tom, between Litchfield and Washington, is of this nature, being
entirely composed of sienite, resting on gneiss. Slaty sienite is
frequently found, having a very large proportion of hornblende.

The minerals that are found in this region, are much more
interesting than its geology. In describing them, I shall confine
myself to the district east of the limestone range, intending at
some future time to investigate and describe the limestone country.

Carbonate of lime, the granular limestone, is scattered over the
whole of this region. It often is found in the cavities of decayed
quartz rocks, and contains tremolite and augite.

_Cyanite_ or _Sappar_, is found in great quantities, especially in
Harwington and Litchfield. A crystalline mass of this was found a
few years ago, weighing probably 15 cwt.; it lay on a mica slate
ridge, and undoubtedly had been formerly imbedded in the slate.
Beautiful white talc, and small crystals of sulphuret of iron, are
disseminated in the mass. Specimens of this mass are in almost all
the cabinets in America. Smaller masses have been found associated
with feldspar. Small crystals of this mineral are very common in
mica slate, with staurotide and garnet. Two of these crystals are
often arranged at right angles with each other. In Cornwall it is
found in small crystals in the gneiss containing graphite.

_Staurotide_ is very common and very beautiful. It is found
principally in mica slate, and exhibits often the cross. It most
generally is crystallized in four-sided prisms.

_Quartz_, of course, is common. Cornwall particularly is
distinguished for the _smoky_ variety. Ferruginous quartz is found
in rolled masses in the whole of this range.

_Petro silex_, in rolled masses with ferruginous quartz, containing
veins of _chalcedony_ and _hornstone_, and geodes of quartz
crystals, are common in Litchfield and Goshen. Sometimes these
masses in the interior assume the appearance of Burrstone.

_Common opal_ has been found in Litchfield, though rarely. It was
part of a mass of ferruginous quartz, with indelible dendritic
impression. It is very hard, and its fracture is conchoidal.

_Mica_ is very common. It is found green, white, and perfectly
black. It generally occurs in blocks of granite.

_Schorl_, in rounded crystals, is found in all the granite in this
range; in radiating crystals on quartz; and in acicular crystals on
mica slate. The large crystals are so brittle, that few of them can
be obtained perfect. I once found it in Litchfield, near Plymouth,
in prismatic crystals on earthy graphite.

Feldspar is very common and beautiful in all the towns. It is
usually found in rhomboidal fragments, and has a fine lustre. It is
blue, white, and red. Some of the granite of Torringford is very
beautiful, being composed of white and smoky quartz, red feldspar,
and green mica. In the porphyritic gneiss, feldspar is in six-sided
prisms. One small crystal of adularia, well defined, has been found
by E. Wilkins, Esq.

_Beryl_, both crystallized and massive, is often found in
Litchfield in granite. Its colours are green, greenish yellow, pale
yellow, and brown. Its crystals are often very perfect.

_Garnets_ are common in all the towns of this range.

_Epidote._ Very beautiful crystals of this mineral have been found
in Washington, associated with feldspar. They are so rounded as to
render it very difficult to discover their form. They have a very
fine lustre, and are of an olive green; in Litchfield, in crystals
with hornblende, and graphic granite, and in veins in sienite.

Perhaps no region can be found containing more beautiful
_tremolite_. All its varieties occur; the fibrous of Litchfield and
Bethlem is very distinguished. In Canaan, it is found containing
crystals of sulphuret of iron. I do not speak here of the tremolite
found in the limestone range.

_Common asbestus_ exists in Washington and New Milford.

The white _augite_ is a mineral found in this range; in Litchfield,
in six-sided prisms very much flattened, on quartz, and carbonate
of lime with tremolite. They sometimes occur several inches long.

The _lamellar_ and _slaty_ varieties of common _hornblende_ are
very common.

Radiated _actynolite_ of a beautiful bluish green in Litchfield; in
Canton of a brownish green.

_Steatite_ is common, and is quarried in Litchfield. The varieties
of _talc_ are very common, connected with steatite, cyanite, and

_Chlorite_ in Litchfield, is found on quartz, with talc.

Porcelain clay in Litchfield in small quantities, and in Washington.

_Graphite_ is found in Cornwall in great quantities. Its gangue is
gneiss and sienite. It is lamellar, and has a metallic lustre; is
easily obtained, and might be made useful. Epidote and cyanite are
found with it.

_Ores_ are not common. Oxides of iron, and sulphuret of iron are
scattered over the whole range. Near Mount Prospect in Litchfield,
sulphuret of iron in mass is in great quantities; and sulphate of
iron on the surface of the ground near it. A stone containing a few
grains of _native copper_ was found in Litchfield.

The red oxyde of _titanium_ occurs in Litchfield sparingly. A very
handsome specimen of the _reticulated oxyde of titanium_, was
picked up. It was on mica, and the mica had an evident tendency
towards the same form.


ART. VI. _An Account of two North American Species of Rottböllia,
discovered on the Sea-coast in the State of Georgia, by Dr._
WILLIAM BALDWIN, _of Philadelphia_.

_Flowers in pairs, or two from each joint of the rachis, one
neutral. The neutral, or imperfect flowers, pedicillate._

_Rottböllia corrugata._

Culmo erecto, compresso, sulcato, glabro, ramoso: foliis
longis angustisque: spicis sub-compressis, nudis super uno
latere, solitariis et terminalibus, supremis approximatis:
calycis bivalvis, valva exteriori transversè _corrugata_ et
longitudinaliter rugosa: corolla trivalvis.

Culm erect, compressed, sulcate, smooth, ramose: leaves long and
narrow: spikes slightly compressed, naked on one side, solitary
and terminal, approximating towards the summit: calyx 2-valved,
the exterior valve transversely _corrugate_, and longitudinally
wrinkled: corolla 3-valved. _Vid._ _Nuttall's North American
Genera_, v. I. p. 84.[51]

_Culm_ two to three feet high, with a very solid exterior, but
_spongy_ within, compressed, and deeply grooved on its inner angle
the whole length between the joints. _Leaves_ long, narrow, and
acute, scabrous on the margin and midrib. _Sheaths_ compressed,
corresponding with the culm, shorter than the internodes, open,
with membraneous margins. _Peduncles_ short, clothed with a thin
membraneous acute pointed sheath, which generally encloses also
the base of the spike. _Spikes_ two to three inches long. The
flowers are arranged in alternate order, but occupy only one side
of the rachis, as in the _R. dimidiata_. The neutral florets, or
_clavate_ pedicels, are joined _laterally_ to the perfect flowers.
Articulations of the rachis remarkably tumid, attenuated beneath,
flat on the interior side, exteriorly convex, scabrous, and
longitudinally striate. The exterior valve of the calyx, in the
perfect flowers, is ovate, obtuse, very thick, cartilaginous, the
inner margin inflected, and deeply marked on its outer surface with
from three to five _corrugations_, with longitudinal ridges between
them; the interior valve is smaller, of equal length, acute, ruled,
coriaceous, smooth, and with the inner margin also inflected. The
valves of the corolla are membraneous, ovate, acute, white, shorter
than the calyx, the exterior one the longest. The neutral florets
are sometimes male, but most commonly consist of nothing more than
a 2-valved calyx, the valves equal, gaping, scabrous, and much
smaller than those of the perfect flower. _Stamens_ 3, very short.
_Anthers_ twin, yellow. _Styles_ 2, rather longer than the stamens.
_Stigmas_ small, plumose, dark purple.

_Discovered_ between St. Mary's and Jefferson, in Camden county,
Georgia, on the 13th of July, 1813. _Inhabits_ flat, moist pine
barren. I have not seen it "on the sea-coast of Florida."


It will be perceived that my description of this plant differs
_materially_ from that of _Mr. Nuttall_. This has unavoidably
arisen from _my_ having attended to it in its living state, and
from _his_ not availing himself of the information which it would
have afforded me pleasure to have communicated, had he done me
the favour to have requested it, or informed me of his wish to
publish an account of plants thus obtained. He has called the culm
_solid_, leaves _rather short_, spikes _cylindric_, _axillary_, the
flowers and rachis _entirely smooth_, pedicel of the neutral flower
_emarginate_, outer valve of the hermaphrodite calyx _acute_, the
valves of the corolla _obtuse_, and the styles _very short_. I have
not been able to confirm the above _characters_, nor do I find them
even in the dried specimens. Besides, he has omitted to inform us
that the rachis is _naked on one side_. This is a most important
and prominent _specific character_, the omission of which would
necessarily lead to much doubt in identifying the species. What
he means by stating that the "outer valve of the hermaphrodite
flower is 3-valved," I cannot imagine, nor do I comprehend what
is intended by an "exterior auxiliary valve, or neutral rudiment;
nearly the length of the calyx." I have noticed in a single
instance, connected _laterally_ with the corolla of the perfect
flower, two very delicate, narrow, acute pointed bodies, the length
of the outer valve, and of the same quality and appearance; but
these I have considered as accidental, and cannot perceive any
thing about them like _neutral rudiments_. Nor can I consider the
articulations of the rachis as "deeply excavated." They are, as
already stated, flat on the inner side, and constitute from their
_flexuous_ form, position, and connexion with the pedicels of the
neutral florets, an arch, in which the perfect flowers are situated.

_Rottböllia ciliata._[52]

Culmo erecto, tereti, glabro, ramoso: foliis angustissimis,
brevibus: spicis cylindricis super pedunculis teretibus longis,
solitariis terminalibusquæ: calycis bivalvis, margine valva
exteriori _ciliata_: corolla bivalvis.

Culm erect, terete, smooth, ramose: leaves very narrow, short:
spikes cylindrical upon long terete peduncles, solitary and
terminal, calyx 2-valved, the margin of the exterior valve
_ciliate_: corolla 2-valved.

_Root_ perennial. _Culm_ two to four feet high, _generally_
ramose, solid, and terete, except that between the joints where
the branches originate, it is grooved on the inner side, and often
ciliate on its angles near the joints. The branches originate
towards the extremity, commonly from two to three in number,
each supporting a single terminal spike. _Leaves_ very narrow,
acute, comparatively short, those beneath much the longest,
rigid, somewhat involute, and sharply serrulate towards the apex.
_Sheaths_ rather shorter than the _internodes_, open to the base,
but closely embracing the culm. _Spikes_ 3 to 5 inches long, the
peduncles clothed with a very delicate acute pointed sheath, which
embraces it so closely as almost to elude observation, varying
much in length, but seldom extending to the base of the spike.
Peduncles scabrous near the spike. _Flowers_ alternate, the _male_
or neutral florets situated on one side of the rachis. _Rachis_
compressed, slender, flexuous, hairy on its exterior surface.
Pedicel of the neutral florets also compressed, and hairy on its
exterior surface. _Valves_ of the calyx _nearly_ equal, lanceolate,
acute, coriaceous, polished, the inner margin of each inflected.
The exterior margin of the outer valve finely _ciliate_ towards
the apex. _Valves_ of the corolla lanceolate, acute, membraneous,
nearly the length of the calyx. The male or neutral, are rather
smaller than the hermaphrodite flowers. _Stamens_ 3, very short.
_Anthers_ twin, purple. Styles 2, excerted, plumose, dark brown.

Discovered in flat pine barren on the north side of Satilla river,
in Georgia, on the 21st of October, 1815.


These plants are unquestionably allied to _andropogon_ in their
mode of flowering, but have nevertheless sufficient _essential
characters_ to distinguish them. In _habit_, they appear but
slightly similar. They differ _principally_ from their congeners
in the pedicellate character of their neutral florets. _The spikes
are not axillary in either of them._ The branches are _axillary_,
of which several sometimes originate from the same axil in the
_R. corrugata_. Each spike, when fully evolved, is not only
_pedicellate_, but the _pedicel_, or peduncle, is connected with
a _culm_ containing one, two, or more joints.[53] The culm is not
compressed, nor the leaves long in the _R. ciliata_, as stated by
_Mr. Nuttall_, who appears to have confounded the two species in
these, and some other instances. The joints of the rachis in both
are _fragile_, the joints of the culm in neither.

Another species noticed by Michaux, and included in all our books
as the _R. dimidiata, L._ has long been familiar to the southern
botanists. Whether this be the _dimidiata_ found also on the
sandy shores of India, or the _compressa_ of the same country, as
suggested by _Mr. Elliott_, or a species distinct from either, I
am not prepared to determine. But I have collected this plant in
the Bermudian Isles, at Rio de Janeiro, and Bahia, on the Brazilian
coast, and lastly on the island of Flores, near one hundred miles
from the mouth of the Rio de la Plata, as well as on the main in
the Banda Oriental.

ART. VII. _Floral Calendar kept at Deerfield, Massachusetts, with
Miscellaneous Remarks, by Dr._ STEPHEN W. WILLIAMS, _of Deerfield._

  _To Professor Silliman._


Any thing which has a tendency to elicit facts with regard to
the climate of a country must be interesting. I believe that
observations upon the time of the germination, foliation,
florification, and fructification of plants, afford a much more
correct criterion respecting climate than thermometrical, or other
meteorological journals. They should be made at the same time in
various parts of the country, and for several years in succession.
I send you a Calendarium Floræ, with miscellaneous remarks, made in
Deerfield, Massachusetts, during a part of the years 1811, 1812,
and 1818, which, if you please, you may insert in your valuable
Journal. Latitude of Deerfield, 42° 32′ 32″, longitude 72° 41′.


  _March_ 1. Blackbirds arrived.

  15. Black ducks arrived. Bees out of the hive.

  20. Early garden peas, lettuce, and peppergrass sown.

  28. The woods were swarming with pigeons. Wild geese passed over.

The greater part of the month of March was warm and pleasant. The
sugar-maple yielded its sap profusely for a few days, but the
nights were so warm that much less than the usual quantity of sugar
was made this year.

  _April_ 1. Frogs begin to sing. Peas and oats sown.

  8. Buds of the lilac, (_Syringa vulgaris_) the small red rose,
  the elm, (_Ulmus Americana_) the apple, and the peas considerably

  14. Dandelion (_Leontodon taraxicum_) in full flower.

  20. Indian corn planted; a few garden seeds sown. Martins and
  bank swallows arrived. Leaves of the currant and gooseberry
  expanded. Weather for a few days past sultry and smoky.

  21. Blue violet (_Viola cucullata_) in full flower. Shad-bush
  (_Aronia Botryapium_) in blossom. Flower-buds of the lilac swoln;
  likewise the flower-buds of the cherry, pear, and apple.

  23. Blood-root (_Sanguinaria Canadensis_) in full flower.

  25. Asparagus fit for the table.

  26. Chili strawberries in flower; this plant begins to blossom
  early, and continues to flower late in the season. English
  cherry, black heart (_Prunus cerasus_) in full flower.

  27. Garden violet (_V. tricolor_) in full flower.

  _April_ 29. Flower-buds of the peach expanded. Large white
  plum (_Prunus domestica_) in full flower. Winter pear (_Pyrus
  communis_) in flower.

  _May_ 1. Red and white currants in flower.

  2. Leaves of the Lombardy poplar (_Populus dilatata_) expanded.

  3. English and field strawberries in blossom.

  4. Butternut (_Juglans cinerea_) in blossom.

  6. House flies arrived.

  7. Apple-trees in full flower.

  8. Lilac in full flower. Red-headed woodpecker arrived.

  15. Rye (_Secale cereale_) beginning to head. Pleasant days and
  cold nights. Hard frosts for a few nights past.

  18. Honeysuckle (_Azalea nudiflora_) in full flower.

  19. Small red rose in flower. Choke cherry (_Prunus Serotina_) in
  full flower.

  25. Common red clover (_Trifolium pratense_) in full flower.

  26. Garden peas in full flower. Hummingbird arrived.

  27. Night-hawks arrived.

  30. Sugar-maple in flower.

  _June_ 2. Locust-tree (_Robinia pseudacacia_) in flower.

  3. Field strawberries beginning to ripen. Piony in flower.

  4. High blackberry (_Rubus villosus_) in full flower.
  Broad-leafed laurel (_Kalmia latifolia_) beginning to blossom.

  7. Snow-ball, guelder-rose (_Viburnum opulus_) in full flower.
  Radishes fit for the table.

  12. Our farmers begin to mow their first crop of grass in low
  land. Large white rose (_Rosa alba_) in full flower.

  21. Red currants beginning to ripen in plenty. Blackberried elder
  (_Sambucus canadensis_) beginning to blossom.

  27. Indian corn tasseling. Black raspberries beginning to ripen.
  Nodding lily (_Lilium canadense_) in flower.

  29. Potato (_Solanum tuberosum_) in full flower.

  _July_ 1. Red raspberry (_Rubus strigosus_) beginning to ripen.
  Poppy (_Papaver somniferum_) in flower.

  _July_ 5. Chestnut-tree (_Castanea Americana_) flowering.

  6. Large red cherry (_Prun. ceras._) fully ripe. String beans fit
  for the table.

Perhaps we never experienced a greater degree of heat in this part
of the country than has been felt for three days past. A number of
hives of honey have melted during the heat.

  14. Cucumbers fit for the table.

  15. Rye fit for the sickle.

  16. Black whortleberries (_Vaccinium resinosum_) ripening.

  19. Early potatoes fit for the table. Indian corn (green) fit for
  the table.

  20. Jenneting apples ripe.

  21. Choke cherries (_Prun. serotina_) ripe.

  26. Gooseberries ripening.

  _August_ 1. Martins departed.

  5. Barn and bank swallows collecting in millions, upon our
  islands in the river, to depart.

  12. Blackberries ripe.

  20. Thorn apple (_Datura stramonium_) in full flower.
  Elderberries fully ripe.

  _September_ 1. Common pear fully ripe. Rare-ripe peaches fully

  6. Bergamot pears fully ripe.

  17. Great grapes (_Vitis æstivalis_) fully ripe. Frost grapes
  (_Vitis cordifolia_) ripening.

  21. Butternuts beginning to fall from the tree.

  24. Our farmers busily engaged in harvesting their corn.

  26. Butternut defoliating.

  28. Elm beginning to defoliate.

  _October_ 2. Chestnut burrs opening. Tree defoliating.

  8. Sugar-maple and sycamore defoliating.

  26. Blackbirds arrived again. Squirrels in plenty in our woods,
  though chestnuts and walnuts are scarce. Butternuts plenty. Cider
  and apples in great abundance.

  _November_ 20. Wild geese returning to the southern regions.


  _March_ 21. Blackbirds, woodpeckers, and robins arrived. Wild
  geese passed over.

  23. Bees out of the hive.

  _April_ 3. Black ducks arrived. Large flocks of pigeons passed

  9. Flower-buds of the elm considerably swoln.

  11. Skylarks arrived.

  12. Frogs begin to sing.

  13. Leaf-buds of the soft maple (_Acer rubrum_) much swoln.

  13. Leaf-buds of the gooseberry much swoln.

  16. Early garden peas sown.

  19. Dandelion (_Leon. tarax._) in full flower. Blue or meadow
  violet (_V. cucullata_) in flower. Leaves of the lilac beginning
  to expand. Our farmers busily engaged in ploughing for sowing.

  23. Peas and oats sown, and Indian corn planted.

  25. Swallows arrived, and whippoorwills begin to sing.

  27. Leaves of the gooseberry, and willow (_Salix Muhlenbergii_)
  beginning to expand.

  _May_ 5. Martins arrived.

  10. Asparagus fit for the table. Blood-root (Sang. canadensis) in
  full flower.

  11. Chili garden strawberries beginning to blossom. Flower-buds
  of the lilac swoln.

  12. Elm in full flower. Leaves of the meadow violet beginning to

  13. Garden violet (_V. tricolor_) in flower.

  14. Field strawberries in full flower. Shad-bush (_Aronia
  botryapium_) in blossom.

  15. English cherry beginning to flower.

  19. Winter pear beginning to blossom.

  22. Hummingbirds arrived. Large white plum (_Prunus domestica_)
  in full flower. Butternut beginning to flower.

  23. Flower-buds of the peach (_Amydalus persica_) beginning to
  expand. Gooseberry in flower.

  _May_ 27. Apple-trees beginning to blossom.

  29. Early garden lettuce (_Lactuca sativa_) fit for the table.

  30. Apple-trees in full flower.

  31. Night-hawks arrived.

Vegetation has put forth more to appearance in three days past
than in all the spring before. Nature seems to revive from a
state of torpidity, from the warm and invigorating rays of the
sun. The month of May has been more backward than the month of
April, 1811. The observation of elderly people, that the month of
April, old style, was never known to terminate without producing
apple-blossoms, has by no means been verified this year, they being
now (June 1st.) in full flower. The snow upon the mountains, thirty
or forty miles back, is at a great depth; so deep, that on the warm
day of the 29th our river rose a foot from its melting. Diseases of
the chronic kind have been peculiarly severe for three months past.
The gladsome return of the cheering warmth will probably renovate
the enfeebled constitutions of many of our aged people.

  _June_ 1. House flies arrived.

  5. Choke cherry (_Prun. serotin._) in full flower. Honeysuckle
  apple (_Azalea nudiflora_) in full flower.

  8. Piony in full flower. Snowball (_Viburnum opulus_) in full
  flower. Flower-de-luce (_Iris versicolor_) in blossom.

  11. Early peas in blossom. Carraway (_Carum carui_) in flower.

  15. Locust-tree (_Robin. pseudacac._) in full flower. Field
  strawberries beginning to ripen.

  18. Common red clover in full flower. Cranesbill (_Geranium
  maculatum_) in blossom. Red raspberry in full flower.

  23. Chili strawberries beginning to ripen. Garden sage (_Salvia
  officinalis_) in full flower.

  29. Our farmers busily engaged in haying.

  30. Large red rose, large white rose, and damask rose (_Rosa
  damascena_) in flower.

  _July_ 1. White pond lily (_Nymphæa odorata_) in flower.

  4. Black elder (_Sambucus canadensis_) in full flower.

  7. Early peas fit for the table. Red and white currants ripening.

  8. Nodding lily (_Lilium canadense_) in flower.

  11. Garden beans (_Phaseolus vulgaris_) in full flower. Chestnut
  in flower. Black raspberries ripening.

  20. Early corn tasseled (_Zea mays._ Variety _præcox._) Red
  raspberries fully ripe.

  22. Whortleberries ripe (_Vaccin. resinos._)

  24. Cucumbers fit for the table.

  28. Early potatoes fit for the table.

  29. Rye fit for the sickle. Early garden squashes (_Cucurbita
  Melo-pepo_) fit for the table.

  _August_ 2. Jenneting apples ripening.

  5. Early corn fit for the table.

  8. Wheat (_Triticum hyburnum_) fit for the sickle.

  28. Summer peas ripening.

  _September_ 4. Watermelons and muskmelons ripe.

  5. Swallows departed.

  6. Elderberries fully ripe.

  11. Choke cherries and wild cherries (_Prunus virginiana_) ripe.

  12. Yellow plum (_Prunus chicasa_) fully ripe.

  15. Butternut beginning to fall from the tree.

  16. Our farmers making their first cider.

  22. Great grapes ripe.

  _October_ 2. Butternut and elm beginning to defoliate.
  Chestnut-burrs beginning to open.

  9. Our farmers beginning to harvest their Indian corn.


  _March_ 11. Bluebirds arrived.

  13. Woodpeckers, robins, and blackbirds arrived. Bees out of the

  _March_ 14. Broad-leaved panic grass (_Panicum latifolium_)
  beginning to sprout on a southern exposure, while there is
  sleighing in the street. A solitary spathe of skunk-cabbage
  (_Pothos fœtida_) beginning to show itself on the same exposure.
  Leaves of curled dock (_Rumex crispa_) appeared in the same
  place. Maple-trees tapped for sugar.

  16. _Pothos fœtida_ in full flower.

  25. Black ducks arrived. Catkins of the poplar-tree (_Populus
  tremuloides_) expanded. Catkins of the speckled willow (_Salix
  Muhlenbergiana_) expanded.

  30. Wild geese arrived. Phœbe arrived.

It began to rain hard on the first of March, and continued raining
two days and a half, which nearly carried off an immense body of
snow which enveloped the ground. Our rivers, which were more firmly
locked with ice than they had been before known for many years to
be, rose above their usual bounds, and swept the ice with such
rapidity down their channels as to destroy most of the bridges on
Connecticut river, besides doing immense damage in other respects.
Our meadows were nearly all under ice and water; and at that time
a great explosion was heard in the north meadows, two miles from
the street, similar to the noise of a cannon. It was occasioned by
the throwing up of an immense quantity of frozen ground, which is a
great curiosity. The cause is not yet satisfactorily explained. The
weather was very warm and pleasant from the 4th to the 22d. What
snow the rain did not carry off was melted by the sun during the
pleasant weather. Vegetation had begun to put forth rapidly, and
many of our birds of passage had arrived. A storm, which commenced
on the 22d, as rapidly retarded the progress of vegetation as it
was before accelerated, and the remainder of the month was gloomy
and uncomfortable. Mud mid-leg deep in the streets.

  _April_ 7. Flower-buds of the elm (_Ulmus americana_) beginning
  to swell.

  _April_ 8. Leaf-buds of the lilac (_Syring. vulg._) beginning to

  10. Leaf-buds of the soft or meadow maple (_Acer rubrum_)
  beginning to swell. Black alder (_Alnus serrulata_) in flower.
  American hazel (_Corylus americana_) in flower, and its catkins

  11. Fair and pleasant, after a long storm. It has rained sixteen
  days in succession. Frogs begin to sing. Leaf-buds of the English
  cherry (_Prunus cerasus_) black heart beginning to swell. Garden
  peas sown.

  12. Flies in myriads arrived in our streets. Catkins of the
  butternut (_Juglans cinerea_) beginning to swell. Saxifrage
  (_Saxifraga virginiensis_) in flower.

  13. Skylarks arrived.

  14. Sweet fern (_Comptonia asplenifolia_) in flower. White birch
  (_Betula populifolia_) in flower.

  16. Our farmers beginning to plough for spring wheat.

  18. Bank swallows arrived.

  19. Leaf-buds of the currant, the gooseberry, and the apple,
  considerably swoln.

  20. Dandelion (_Leon. tarax._) beginning to flower. _Viola
  cucullata_ beginning to blossom.

  22. Our farmers ploughing for peas and oats. The snow upon the
  hills 20 miles north and west from Deerfield is two feet and a
  half deep, and the winds from those quarters are so chilly as to
  retard the progress of vegetation. Icicles scarcely melted upon
  the south side of buildings in Halifax, Vermont; and it is too
  cold for making sugar.

  25. Blood-root (_Sanguinaria canadensis_) in flower on a warm
  south side hill. Leaves of the English gooseberry beginning
  to expand. Venus's pride (_Houstonia cœrulea_) in flower.
  Early life-everlasting, (_Gnaphalium plantagineum_) crowfoot,
  (_Ranunculus fascicularis_) tooth-root, (_Dentaria laciniata_)
  and meadow-rue (_Thalictrum cornutum_) in full flower.

  26. Trailing arbutus (_Epigaea repens_) in full flower. Leaves
  of the barberry (_Berberis vulgaris_) beginning to expand.
  Five-finger, (_Potentilla pumilla_) adder's-tongue, (_Erythronium
  dens-canis_) liver-leaf, (_Hepatica triloba_) and wind-flower,
  (_Anemone nemorosa_) in flower.

  _April_ 27. Early potatoes and early corn planted. Elm in full

  29. Water crowfoot (_Ranunculus sceleratus_) and American cowslip
  (_Caltha palustris_) in full flower.

  30. Daffodil (_Narcissus pseudo-narcissus_) and rue-anemone
  (_Anemone thalictroides_) in flower.

  _May_ 1. Soft maple (_Acer rubrum_) in flower.

  2. Martins arrived.

  3. Leaves of the gooseberry beginning to expand.

  4. Leaves of the currant and lilac beginning to expand. Pigeons

  5. Wood bulrush (_Juncus sylvaticus_) in flower. A great freshet
  in our meadows, from the melting of the snow upon the mountains,
  and from the great rain which has continued nearly a month. Beth.
  nodding trillion (_Trillium rhomboideum_) in flower.

  7. Flowers of the garden violet (_V. tricolor_) beginning to

  8. The young heads of asparagus breaking the ground.

  9. Our farmers busily engaged in planting their Indian corn,
  though the weather is excessively cold. Sowed onions, parsnips,

  10. Bobylincolns (_Bob of lincolns_) arrived. Flower-buds of the
  lilac appearing.

  11. Field strawberries (_Fragaria virginiana_) in full flower.
  Colts-foot (_Tussilago farfara_) in flower.

  12. Whip-poor-wills begin to sing.

  13. Spice-bush (_Laurus benzoin_) in full flower. A freshet in
  the meadows.

  14. Goldthread (_Coptis trifolia_) in full flower.

  15. Rattlesnake violet (_Viola primulifolia_) in full flower.

  16. Chimney swallows arrived.

  17. Leaves of the apple-tree expanding. Sugar maple (_Acer
  saccharinum_) in full flower. Garden daisy (_Bellis perennis_) in
  full flower.

  _May_ 18. Asparagus fit for the table.

  19. Smooth gooseberry (_Ribes uva-crispa_) in flower.

  20. Shad-bush (_Aron. botryap._) in flower.

  21. House wrens arrived. Moose-wood (_Dirca palustris_) in flower.

  22. Garden currant (_Ribes rubrum_) beginning to flower.

  24. Wake-robin (_Trillium cernuum_) and peas (_Pyrus communis_)
  in flower.

  25. Our mountain scenery diversified. Weather very warm. Garden
  potatoes and garden corn, planted on the 27th April, breaking
  the ground. Garden beans, cucumbers, squashes, watermelons, &c.

  26. Damson plum (_Prunus domestica_) and yellow or wild plum
  (_Prunus chicasa_) in flower. Elder (_Sambucus canadensis_) in
  flower. Carolina chatterer arrived.

  27. Garden gooseberry (_Ribes grossularia_) and avens (_Geum
  rivale_) in blossom. Weather intensely warm. Thermometer at 86°
  at 2 o'clock, P. M. yesterday.

  29. Apple-trees in full flower. Night-hawk arrived.

  30. Choke cherries (_Prun. Serotin._) in flower.

  31. Lilac in full flower.

The weather till the last week in May was very cold and rainy.
Perhaps we have never known more gloomy weather than that of the
first twenty days of the month. The last week in the month of May
was unusually warm and fine. Vegetation has put forth more within
this week than it has in all the season before. The blossoms on
apple-trees are scanty, and there is but little prospect of fruit.
Peach-trees in the vicinity of this place were all killed by the
extreme cold winter.

  _June_ 1. Hummingbirds arrived.

  2. Honeysuckle apple (_Azalea nudiflora_) in full flower.

  3. Blue-eyed grass, (_Sisyrinchium anceps_) _Krigia virginica_,
  and thorn-bush (_Cratægus coccinea_) in flower. Garden seeds,
  planted on the 25th ult. have vegetated 3 or 4 inches high.
  Garden rhubarb (_Rheum tataricum_) in flower.

  _June_ 4. Garden rocket (_Hesperis pinnatifida_) in flower.

  6. Yellow water lily (_Nuphar advena_) in full flower.
  Flower-de-luce (_Iris virginica_) in flower. Garden peas in full

The weather for twelve days past has been unusually warm and
sultry. The thermometer, much of the time in the middle of the day,
has stood at 84°, and vegetation has put forth with astonishing

  8. House-flies arrived.

  9. Horse-radish (_Cochlearea armoracea_) and peony in full flower.

  10. Chives (_Allium schænoprasum_) in full flower.

  11. Smooth stem lichnidea (_Phlox maculata_) in full flower. Our
  farmers busily engaged in hoeing their corn.

  12. Fumitory (_Fumaria officinalis_) in full flower.

  13. Field strawberries beginning to ripen.

  14. Locust-tree (_Robinia pseudacacia_) in full flower.

  15. Locusts appearing in the south part of the town. The last
  time of their appearance here was in the year 1801. Their
  periodical returns are once in seventeen years. Their appearance
  in the years 1733, 1750, 1767, 1784, and 1801, is recorded on
  the town-book. They first attack the leaves of the black oak
  (_Quercus nigra_.)

  16. Small red rose in flower.

  17. _Rosa caroliniensis_ in full flower.

  18. Garden sage (_Salvia officinalis_) in flower.

  19. Mock syringa (_Philadelphus coronarius_) in flower.

  20. Tulip-tree, commonly called cypress or white-wood
  (_Liriodendron tulipifera_) in blossom.

  21. Carnation pink (_Dianthus caryophyllus_) in flower.

  22. Our farmers commenced haying. An immense crop of grass on the

  23. Side-saddle flower (_Sarracenia purpurea_) in flower.

  24. Common St. John's wort (_Hypericum perforatum_) in full

  _June_ 26. Garden radishes fit for the table.

  27. Early garden peas fit for the table. Weather intensely warm.

  28. American lime or linden-tree (_Tilia americana_) in flower.

  30. Flax (_Linum usitatissimum_) in full flower. Thermometer in
  the shade at 2 P. M. 100°.

Vegetation has put forth and increased with a more astonishing
rapidity this month than has ever been known. Notwithstanding the
spring was very backward, the season now is forward. Our farmers
commenced their first haying about a week earlier than they did
last year.

  _July_ 1. White water lily (_Nymphæa odorata_) in flower.

  3. Red and white currants ripening. Yellow day lily
  (_Hemerocallis flava_) and _Lilium canadense_ in full flower.

  4. Cucumbers and watermelons in flower. Early summer corn (_Zea
  mays_, variety _præcox_) beginning to tassel. Garden rue (_Ruta
  graveoleus_), mustard (_Sinapis nigra_), motherwort (_Leonorus
  cardiaca_) and mullein (_Verbascum thapsus_) in full flower.
  Blue whortleberries (_Vaccinium frondosum_) beginning to ripen.
  Dewberry (_Rubus trivialis_) ripening.

  5. Poppy (_Papaver somniferum_) in flower.

  6. Garden squashes (_Cucurbita Melo-pepo_) in flower.

  7. Red raspberry fully ripe.

  10. Black raspberry fully ripe.

  11. String-beans fit for the table.

  12. Unicorn plant (_Martinia proboscidea_) in full flower.

  13. Thorn apple (_Datura stramonium_) and marygold (_Tagetes
  erecta_) in full flower.

  15. Great water plantain (_Alisma plantago_) and field clover
  (_Trifolium arvense_) in flower.

  17. Mad dog weed (_Scutellaria lateriflora_) and purple vervain
  (_Verbena hastata_) in blossom.

The weather for three weeks past has been excessively warm. The
thermometer, for several days, has stood above 95°, part of the
time at 98°. Our lands are now parching with drought. Our grass
fields are completely embrowned. Our farmers beginning to reap
their rye.

  _July_ 19. Cucumbers fit for the table. Early corn (_green_) fit
  for the table.

  21. Mother of thyme (_Thymus vulgaris_) in full flower.

  22. Fig-wort (_Scrophularia marylandica_) and loosestrife
  (_Lysimachia stricta_) in flower.

  24. Morning-glory (_Convolvulus sepium_) and _Orchis ciliaris_ in
  full flower.

  26. Whortleberries (_Vaccinium resinosum_) ripe. Single-seeded
  cucumber (_Sicyos angulata_) in flower.

  28. Garden lettuce and hop (_Humulus lupulus_) in full flower.

  30. Our farmers reaping their wheat--a tolerable crop. Buckwheat
  (_Polygonum fagopyrum_) in flower.

We had a great rain about the 20th, which restored the parched
vegetation. The latter part of the month was, however, warm and dry.

  _August_ 1. Grasshoppers begin to sing. Crickets arrived.

  2. Larkspur (_Delphinium consolida_) in flower.

  3. Sunflower (_Helianthus annuus_) and pigweed (_Chenopodium
  album_) in flower.

  6. Broom-corn (_Sorghum saccharatum_) and lavender (_Lavendula
  spica_) in flower.

  7. Early jenneting apples ripe. _Ambrosia trifida_ and American
  senna (_Cassia marylandica_) in flower.

  11. Muskmelon ripe. Garden squashes and shelled beans fit for the

  13. Seed-box (_Ludwigia alternifolia_) in flower. Garden
  gooseberries fully ripe.

  14. Our farmers gathering their peas and oats--an indifferent
  crop. Weather warm and dry.

  16. Martins departing. Bush clover (_Lespedeza capitata_) in

  18. Our farmers beginning to mow their second crop of hay.
  Jerusalem oak (_Chenopodium botrys_) in flower.

  20. Houseleek (_Sempervivum tectorum_) in flower.

  21. Herb clarry (_Salvia sclarea_) in blossom.

  22. Swallows collecting in thousands to depart. Toothed coral
  (_Cymbidium odontorhizom_) in flower. Saw bats for the first time
  this year.

  24. Lopseed (_Phryma leptostachia_) and ladies' traces (_Neottia
  pubescens_) in flower.

  27. Gay mallows (_Lavatera thuringiaca_) and _Solanum nigra_ in
  full flower.

  30. Burnet saxifrage (_Sanguisorba canadensis_) and water
  horehound (_Lycopus europæus_) in full flower.


_Deerfield, (Mass.) Jan. 25, 1819._

ART. VIII. _Description and Natural Classification of the Genus
Floerkea, by_ C. S. RAFINESQUE.

This genus was discovered in Pennsylvania, near Lancaster, by the
Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg, who communicated the same to Wildenow of
Berlin. This celebrated botanist ascertained that it was a new
genus, to which he gave the name of a German botanist, (Floerke)
and published it in the third volume of the transactions of the
society _des Curieux de la Nature_ of Berlin, for 1801, under
the name of _Floerkea proserpinacoides_, which long and uncouth
specific name has been changed by every subsequent author. Michaux
has omitted it altogether, (with many more American species) in
his _Flora Boreali Americana_, published in 1803. Persoon calls
it _Floerkea lacustris_, in Syn. plant. 1. p. 393. Muhlenberg
_Floerkea uliginosa_, in Cat. pl. Amer. Sept. p. 36. and Pursh, in
Flora Amer. Sept. 1. p. 239, unites it with the genus _Nectris_,
and calls it _Nectris pinnata_, putting it therefore in the
Hexandria digynia of Linnæus, while all the preceding authors had
classed it in the Hexandria monogynia. I will show presently which
among them appear to be wrong; but I must notice before, that no
botanist had, I believe, endeavoured to class it naturally, until
Mr. Correa de Serra, who in his _reduction of American genera to
the natural families of Jussieu_, attempted, without having had
an opportunity to see the plant, to place it in the family of
_Junci_, taking it therefore to be a monocotyle plant; being led
into this error by a mistaken idea, that all hexandrous plants must
be monocotyle! But in the spring of 1816, I found this plant in the
neighbourhood of Philadelphia, (near the falls of the Schuylkill)
where it had escaped the attention of all the botanists of that
city, and in particular of Dr. William Barton, who has therefore
omitted it in his Prodr. fl. Philad. and having communicated it to
Mr. Correa, he acknowledged that it was dicotyle, of which fact I
was aware, even before seeing the plant and dissecting its seed, by
attending to its habit.

The following exact description of this genus will enable the
reader to ascertain how far I am correct in my presumptions towards
its natural arrangement.

_Floerkea._ Perigone double persistent, sixpartite; the exterior
calicinal 3 partile, sepals acute; the interior shorter, coloured
3 partile, sepals petaloid, oblong, obtuse. Six stamens perigyne,
filaments filiform, of the length of the interior sepals, anthers
round. One free ovarium, rounded and bilobed, one central and
bifod style, two capitated stigmas. Fruit a bilobed atricule,
tuberculated and bilocular dispermous, sometimes round, unilocular
and monospermous by abortion of one lobe and cell. Seeds attached
to the centre near the bottom, nearly lenticular, smooth
albuminous, easily divided in two lobes. _Habit._ Small, delicate,
annual, and glabrous plant, with alternate polytome pinnated
leaves, flowers axillar, solitary, pedunculated.

_Floerkea uliginosa._ Caule tenello flaccido erecto simplex, foliis
4 petiolatis imis ternatis, summis pinnato, quinatis, pinnulis
lineari oblongis obtusis, integris floribus axillaris, solitaris
pedunculis longis apice incrastatis. Stem delicate, soft, upright,
and simple, leaves petiolated, the inferior ternated, the superior
pinnated, quinate, pinnules linear-oblong obtuse, flowers axillar,
solitary, and on long peduncles, swelled under the flower.

Among the several specific names given to this plant, I prefer
Muhlenberg's, as it expresses exactly the kind of situations
where it grows, say in moist grounds, occasionally swampish or
overflowed; those I found near Philadelphia, grew by thousands on
the banks of a small brook in a wood below the left side of the
falls of Schuylkill. Persoon's name of _lacustris_, being wrong, as
it would seem to imply that it grows in lakes only; and Wildenow's
name being too long and illusive, its similarity of habit with the
genus _Proserpinaca_ not being very striking. However, even the
name of _uliginosa_ is liable to some slight objection; and did I
think myself permitted to coin a new name, while so many have been
proposed already, I should have called it either _F. tenella_, or
_F. flaccida_, or _F. olitoria_, being a very delicate and tender
plant, and very good to eat in sallad, as I have tried it myself,
its taste is sweet and pleasant, the whole plant may be eaten,
(even the root) being all juicy and tender: it grows in such an
abundance in some spots, that it might occasionally afford a most
precious and delightful sallad, but if cultivated for that purpose,
it might be found an agreeable addition to our culinary herbs.

In addition to my above definition, it will be proper to state that
the stem of this plant rises from 4 to 8 inches, it is cylindrical,
smooth, and yellowish, the middle leaves are the largest, the lower
peduncles are longer than the leaves, and the upper ones shorter,
the petals or interior sepals, and the stamens are yellow. It
blossoms in May, and is annual, it even lasts only three months.

It will be perceived that I do not agree with Mr. Pursh, in
uniting this plant with the genus _Nectris_: he owns himself that
it deviates a _little_ from the generic character of _Nectris_,
but these deviations appear to me very material; they exist in
the pistils and fruits, the most essential parts of the flowers,
since they agree in the perigone and stamens. The genus _Nectris_
(or _Calomba_ of Aublet) has _two ovaries_, _two styles_, and
_two polispermous capsules_, or _achens_! and belongs therefore
to the second order _Perimesia_, (class _Eltrogynia_) eighth
family _Achenopsia_ next to the genus _Myriophyllum_: while the
genus Floerkea which has a _bilobed ovary_, _one central style_,
_two stigmas_, and _one bilocular dispermous achen_, must belong
to the eleventh order of the same class; _Isostimia_, which is
characterized by having more than one stigma, the stamens in
regular number, and not central; it will form a connecting link
between this order and the foregoing _Polymesia_, by its affinity
with many genera of the _Euphorbia's_ tribe, such as _Callitriche_,
_Tragia_, _Mercurialis_, &c. from which it differs merely by having
hermaphrodite flowers, and perispheric regular stamens. It will at
present stand nearly isolated in this order, where it may form the
small family _Galenidia_, along with the genus _Galenia_, &c. and
which shall have much affinity with the family _Phytolacia_; but
this differs by having a multilocular berry, while the _Galenia_
merely differs by having a 4 sided perigone, 8 stamens, and 2

I admit, however, that there is a strong affinity between the
genera _Floerkea_ and _Nectris_, but stronger affinities often
exist in plants of different classes. If, however, it should happen
that Aublet[54] might have been mistaken in describing the ovaries
and capsules of the _Nectris_ as double, if they should prove to
be simple but bilobed, then the _Nectris_ would belong to the
same family as the _Floerkea_; but yet stand as a peculiar genus
distinguished by having 2 styles, and the achens not monospermous!

It was insinuated to me by Mr. Correa, that the _Floerkea_ might
have some affinity with the tribe of _Ranunculaceous_, but I cannot
discover any, since that tribe is widely different, by having many
ovaries, stamens, and fruits, each ovary with 1 style or stigma,
a deciduous perigone, the anthers adnate, &c. The analogy in the
structure of the seed and habit, is too slight to be taken in

ART. IX. _Descriptions of Three New Genera of Plants, from the
State of New-York. Cylactis, Nemopanthus, and Polanisia, by_ C. S.

1. _N. G. Cylactis._

Calyx campanulated 6 to 10 fidus, sepals a little unequal. Petals
4 to 6 equal. Many perigynous stamens. Pistils 8 to 12, ovaries
sessile ovate, styles elongated, stigmas capitated. Berries few,
distinct, one seeded.

This new genus belongs in the analytical and natural method, (see
Analysis of Nature) to the first natural class _Eltrogynia_, first
natural order _Rhodanthia_, second natural family _Senticosia_,
next to the genera _Rubus_, _Oligacis_, &c. It would range itself
into the artificial class _Icosandria_ of the Linnæan sexual
system; but not properly into any of its orders, since the number
of pistils is variable, and never above 12. Only one species
belongs to it, which I have discovered in company with Mr. Knevels,
on the Catskill mountains. The etymology of the name derives from
two Greek words meaning _radiated calyx_. It differs essentially
from _Rubus_ by the unequal many cleft calyx, variable petals, and
few pistils.

_Cylactis montana._ Mountain cylactis--Stem herbaceous upright,
unarmed, pubescent; leaves quinate, nearly smooth, upper ones
sessile, stipules oblong, folioles ovate acuminate, incised,
serrated, ciliated, base acute, entire, the middle one petiolated:
flowers few corymbose, peduncles erect elongated bracteolated;
calyx pubescent, sepals lanceolate acute, nerved, reflexed; petals
cuneate-obovate, longer than the calyx.

It is a small perennial plant, rising about half a foot; flowers
white, blossoming in June. On the Catskill mountains near the great
falls, &c.

2. _N. G. Nemopanthus._

Dioical. M. flowers calyx 5 phylle, equal, deciduous. No corolla.
Stamina 5 hypogynous, alternating with the calyx. Fem. fl. calyx
deciduous 5 phylle? Ovary ovate, stigma sessile 4 lobed. Berry 4
celled 4 seeded.

The name means _flower with a filiform peduncle_. A shrub forms
this genus, which had perhaps been united with _ilex_ by Michaux,
&c.; but it differs altogether from it by the want of corolla,
hypogynous stamens, sessile, style, &c. it does not even belong to
the same family, but to the natural family _Rhamnidia_, natural
order _Plynontia_, and natural class _Eltrogynia_, next to the
genus _frangula_. In the sexual system it would belong to _Dioecia
pentandria_, very far apart from _Frangula_.

_Nemopanthus fascicularis._ Fascicled nemopanthus. Shrubby,
leaves fasciculated, petiolate, oblong, mucronate, entire, rather
undulated, membranaceous, smooth; flowers axillary fasciculated,
peduncles filiform, shorter than the leaves.

It forms a small shrub from 5 to 8 feet high, covered with gray
bark, and with slender upright branches; the flowers are greenish,
very small, the female flowers have shorter and thicker peduncles;
they blossom in June. It grows on the Catskill mountains near the
two lakes. It is, perhaps, the _Ilex canadensis_? of Michaux and
Pursh. And it has some analogy with the _Frangula alnifolia_.

3. _N. G. Polanisia._

Calyx 4 phylle, phylles coloured unequal, the upper one
unguiculated spatulated. Corolla with 4 unequal petals, the two
upper ones larger and unguiculated. A nectarium upwards glandular,
broad, and truncated. Stamina 9 to 14, unequal, erect, hypogynous.
Ovary oblong on a short pedicel, one style, one truncated stigma.
Fruit a follicular capsule, one celled, two valved, many seeded,
seeds inserted on each side of each suture, nearly snail-shaped.

The type of this genus is the _Cleome dodecandra_ of Linnæus,
under which denomination many species were blended, which have no
similitude with the real genus _cleome_, differing in the calyx,
corolla, nectarium, stamina, and fruit. I shall describe here that
of North America, where 2 or 3 species exist, besides those of the
West Indies, Africa, and Asia, which are totally different. The
etymology of the name which I have given to it, derives from _many
irregularities_. It belongs in the analytical method of botany,
to the first natural class _Eltrogynia_, ninth natural order
_Monostimia_, natural family _Capparidia_. It can find no place in
the sexual system since the number of stamina varies from 9 to 14,
unless it be forced into _Dodecandria_.

_Polanisia graveolens._ Clammy polanisia--hairy and glutinous all
over, stem upright, leaves alternate, petiolate, ternated, folioles
sessile, the intermediate longest, oblong, obtuse, entire, hairy on
the margin and nerves: flowers racemose erect, bracteas petiolate,
ovate, obtuse, calyx hairy, petals emarginate, crenate, capsules
divaricate glutinous.

It is the _Cleome dodecandra_ of Michaux and Pursh. It grows on
the banks of rivers and lakes, on the Hudson near Newburgh, on
the Susquehannah near Harrisburg, on Lake Erie, on the Ohio, and
Mississippi, &c. It blossoms in July and August, the stem rises
about 1 foot, the petals are white, or slightly red. The whole
plant has a strong graveolent smell, similar to that of _Erigeron
graveolens_. (Received January, 1818. _Editor._)

ART. X. _Notice on the Myosurus Shortii._

I have the pleasure to announce to the botanists, that the genus
_Myosurus_, hitherto thought an European genus, and composed of
a single species, has been detected in the United States by Dr.
Short of Kentucky, who has discovered it in the neighbourhood
of Hopkinsville, in Christian county, West Kentucky, and has
communicated me specimens of it; by which, on comparing them with
the European _Myosurus_, figured in _Flora Danica_, Lamarck's
Illustrations, &c. I have been enabled to ascertain, that the
American plant must form a second species of that genus, which
I have accordingly dedicated it to the discoverer, by naming it
_Myosurus Shortii_. This adds another genus and another new species
to our Flora. I add the comparative definitions of the two species,
exhibiting; their different characters and diagnosis.

_Myosurus minimus._ Lin. &c.

Leaves linear-cuneate, broader near the top, and acute. Scapes
as long as the leaves, thickened towards the upper part. Calix 5
leaved, Spurs consimilar: petals 5. Stamens 5 to 8. Carpophore as
long as the scapes.

_Myosurus Shortii._ Raf.

Leaves linear obtuse, hardly attenuated below. Scapes shorter than
the leaves, and filiform. Calix 3 to 5 leaved, spurs membraneous:
petals 3 to 5. Stamens 10 to 12. Carpophore shorter than the scapes.


_Philadelphia, May 1, 1819._

ART. XI. _Description of a New Species of Gnaphalium, by Professor_

_To B. Silliman, Esq. M.D., &c._

The following description of a new species of Gnaphalium,
accompanied with a drawing, has been in my possession for two
years. If the subsequent observations will be of use to correct
error, or solve doubts which may have existed concerning some
species of gnaphalium, they are at your service.

  E. IVES.

This plant was first observed by me, in company with Mr. C.
Whitlow, in July, 1817, by the margin of a brook, a few rods north
of Mr. E. Whitney's gun manufactory, near New-Haven. It is also
found on the margin of the Housatonick, about thirty miles from
Long Island sound, where it was observed by Dr. Alfred Monson, the
last summer. Specimens of this plant were sent to Z. Collins, Esq.
of Philadelphia, for the purpose of comparing it with the species
of gnaphalium in Muhlenberg's herbarium, more particularly with the
_luteo-album_ and _Pennsylvanicum_, which I had not seen.

[Illustration: _Gnaphalium decurrens._]

I am indebted to the politeness of Mr. Collins, for the facts on
this subject relative to Muhlenberg's herbarium. He observes,
"your Gnaphalium is certainly not the _luteo-album_ of Muhlenberg,
which may not strictly be a native, but introduced. Yours most
approaches G. polycephalum Mx. Still, from the decurrent leaves and
other differential marks, it appears to me to be a new species.
Muhlenberg's collection has it not."

As the _luteo-album_ is said to grow in New-England, yet so far as
my observation has extended it has not been found by any of the
botanists, I am induced to believe that this opinion has arisen
from some erroneous description of the plant which is the subject
of this paper.

As the decurrent leaves of this Gnaphalium distinguish it so
obviously from all the other American species of Gnaphalium, I
propose to give it the specific name of _decurrens_.

_Specific description of Gnaphalium Decurrens (large life

Leaves lanceolate, broad at base, acute, decurrent, somewhat
scabrous above, tomentose beneath; stem leafy branched spreading,
about three feet high.--See the plate.--The plate represents a
section of the upper part of the plant.


ART. XII. _Observations on some Species of Zoophytes. Shells, &c.
principally Fossil, by_ THOMAS SAY.

If the following descriptions and notices of some of the animal
productions of our country, chiefly fossil, and of which some are
but little known, should be found of sufficient interest to occupy
a place in the Journal of Science, they are very much at your
service for that work.

The greater portion of them are extracted, with some modification,
from an essay which I read about three years ago, to the Academy
of Natural Sciences, without any intention at the time of giving
publicity to them. But the rapid diffusion of a taste for
geological research, seems to require corresponding exertions on
the part of those who have attended to fossil remains, inasmuch as
geology, in order to be eminently furnished with every advantage
that may tend to the developement of many important results, must
be in part founded on a knowledge of the different genera and
species of reliquiæ, which the various accessible strata of the
earth present. The accessory value of this species of knowledge,
is now duly estimated in Europe, as affording the most obvious
means of estimating, with the greatest approximation to truth, the
comparative antiquity of formations, and of strata, as well as of
identifying those with each other which are in their nature similar.

Certainly very little is yet known about the fossils of North
America, and very little can be known accurately, until we shall
have it in our power to compare them with approved detailed
descriptions, plates, or specimens of those of Europe; which have
been made known to the world by the indefatigable industry, and
scientific research of Lamarck and other naturalists.

America is rich in fossils. In many districts of the United States,
vast beds of fossil shells, zoophytes, &c. are deposited, which,
for the most part, are concealed from the inquiring eye, offering
superficially a mere confused mass of mutilated fragments. These
rich repositories must finally be exposed to view, by the onward
pace of improvement, and the more interior strata will be unveiled
by some fortunate profound excavations, the result of enterprise
in the pursuit of gain. The very surface of the country in many
regions, is almost overspread with the abundance of casts, or
redintigrate fossils, many of which are apparently specifically
anomalous, and some generically so. The correct, and only useful
mode in which the investigation of our fossils can be conducted, is
attended with some difficulty and labour.

The task presumes the knowledge, not only of fossils in all their
different states, from the apparently unchanged specimen, to the
fragment or section of a cast uninsulably imbedded in its rocky
matrix, but it also requires an adequate acquaintance with recent
specimens, or those of which the inhabitants are not yet struck
from the list of animated beings, in other words those of the
present, as well as those of the former world.

Due advantage being taken of the many opportunities which are
from time to time offered to us, of obtaining knowledge in this
department, will probably be the means of producing a list of
American animal reliquiæ, coextensive with that of Europe at
the present day. In the present state of the science, however,
the correct naturalist will feel it a duty which he owes to his
colaborators to proceed with the utmost caution, that he may not
add unnecessarily to the already numerous species.

_Genus Alveolites, Lam._

Coral lapideous, covering extraneous bodies, or in a simple mass,
formed of concentric strata; strata composed each of a union of
numerous alveoles, which are very short, contiguous, reticulate,
and generally parallel.


_A. glomeratus_, alveoles vertical, subequal, oval, or obsoletely
hexagonal, much shorter than the diameter, parallel; paries simple;
strata numerous, forming a rounded mass. (_Cabinet of the Academy
of Natural Sciences._)

Found often on the coast of North America, cast up by the waves,
the animals sometimes still living. Forms masses of various sizes
and figures, generally more or less rounded or lobed, and composed
of a great number of concentric layers. The number of these strata
seems to be regulated in some degree, by the quantity of surface
they have to cover. Thus if the nucleus happens to be a small
shell, such as the _Naticæ_, _Nassæ_, &c. of our coast, or even
the oyster, (_O. virginica_,) clam, (_V. mercenaria_,) &c. the
strata are often very numerous; but on the thoracic plate of
_Limulus polyphemus_, having a considerable space over which to
extend themselves, the strata are but few, not more than 2 or 3.
I have seen the thoracic plate of this animal so entirely covered
by the _Alveolite_, as to have the eyes and stemmata concealed so
as to be perfectly blind. When composed of a single layer only,
it much resembles a _Flustra_, or a _Cellapore_ of which the
convex surfaces have been removed by attrition. The animal I have
not yet examined. The alveoles or cells of a layer, are arranged
in lines of different degrees of curvature, obscurely radiating
from different centres; these lines are placed side by side, the
alveoles alternating with each other throughout the layer in a
quincunx manner; the thickness of the paries is somewhat equal to
one half of the conjugate diameter of the alveole, the length of
which, or thickness of the layer, is scarcely more considerable;
but these proportions vary.

The species to which it seems allied, are _madreporacea_ and
_incrustans_. The former is fossil, and differs in being subramose;
the latter forms but a single expansion.

_Genus Favosites, Lam._

Coral lapideous, simple, of a variable form, composed of parallel
prismatic and fasciculated tubes; tubes contiguous, pentagonal, or
hexagonal, more or less angular, rarely articulated.


_F. striata_, more or less turbinate; _paries of the alveoles_
longitudinally striated within, and fenestrate with minute osculi;
_alveoles_ with very numerous septæ. (_Cabinet Acad. Nat. Sciences;
and Peale's Museum--common._)

Found fossil in various parts of the United States, at the falls
of the Ohio; Genessee, New-York; Pittsburg and Wilksbarre,
Pennsylvania; Missouri, &c. &c. but not yet in the alluvial deposit
of New-Jersey.

The tubes are generally, partially, or entirely filled with
silicious matter, sometimes so completely so, as to resemble
in miniature, basaltic columns; when the alveoles are free on
the surface, these fossils are known by the name of _petrified
wasp-nests_, from the resemblance they bear to the nests of those
insects. The silex is usually only infiltrated into the cavities,
leaving the substance of the coral in its original calcareous
state, but the specimens which are found amongst the rolled pebbles
of the Delaware River, near Philadelphia, are completely silicified.

The size varies from one fourth of an ounce, to two hundred pounds
or more, and the tubes occur of every intermediate diameter, from
the fortieth to one fourth of an inch. It is not common to find any
two specimens of like form, they are, however, ordinarily more or
less turbinate, but are sometimes depressed or compressed, and the
tubes rectilinear or excurved, and of various lengths. The dilated
summit is not so much the effect of a gradual enlargement of the
tubes, as of the frequent and adventitious interposition of young
ones, which of course renders the openings of the tubes unequal.
The tubes or alveoles, vary in the same coral, being 5 or 6, rarely
seven sided, but the hexagonal form is most common; the interior
of a tube is divided into a great number of apartments or cells,
by approximate transverse septæ, each of the cells appears to be
connected with the corresponding cells of the surrounding tubes,
by lateral orifices in the dividing paries; these orifices are
minute, inequidistant, orbicular, their margins slightly prominent,
and forming from one to three longitudinal series on each side
of the tube; each row is separated from the adjoining one by an
impressed line. By means of these osculi it seems probable that all
the animals inhabiting a common coral, were connected together,
or had free communication with each other, but whether by means
of a common organ as in _Pyrosoma_, _Stephanomia_, &c. or simply
by contact as in the aggregating _Salpa_, &c. we have no means of

The _striata_ differs from _Madrepora truncata_, Esper. (_F.
alveolata_, Lam.) in not being "extùs transversè sulcata." It seems
to be allied to _Corallium Gothlandicum_, Amœn. Acad. v. 1. p. 106,
and it is possible it may prove synonymous, or very similar to it,
when that species becomes better known; the latter has been taken
for Basalt, and M. Lamarck when describing it, inquires "Est-ce
un polypier?" _Madrepora fascicularis_, of Volck. and Parkin. in
common with _F. striata_ and _F. Gothlandicum_, is distinguished
by the transverse septa, a character which induced me to refer the
species here described to _Favosite_; they seem therefore to be
congeneric, as analogy indicates a participation in the character
of osculated paries.

Amongst the great variety exhibited by this species, we have to
remark more particularly the following, viz.:

1st. Alveoles perfectly free, that is, destitute of aciculi or
lamellæ, the septa wanting, and sometimes the osculi obsolete.

2d. Alveoles filled almost to the summit with the septa, and
resembling those combs of the bee-hive which are filled with honey
and covered over.

3d. Paries beset with very numerous, interrupted, alternating,
transverse lamellæ, which are denticulated at their tips, and
project towards the centre with various degrees of prominence and

The first variety corresponds with the generic character, and
the third approaches the genus _Porites_; yet so unequivocally
identical are they, that I have seen them all united in the same
mass, and perforated throughout by the osculi. The identity is
further obvious by the perfect gradation which renders them

With respect to the transverse septa, I think their presence may be
accounted for by supposing that as the animal elongates its tube in
consequence of an increase of growth, or in order to maintain an
equal elevation with the adjacent tubes, (rendered necessary by the
origin of young tubes in the interstices) it gradually vacates the
basal portions of its tube, and sustains itself at the different
elevations, by successively uniting the parietal lamellæ so as
to exclude the vacuity. That this is probable, we may infer from
a similar procedure on the part of several species of testaceous
mollusca. Thus some Linnæan _Serpula_ become camerated, and a
familiar instance presents itself in the _Triton tritonis_, the
animal of which adds successive partitions to the interior of the
spire, as that part becomes too strait for the increasing volume
of its body. If the above supposition proves correct, the organs
of communication which pass through the osculi, can hardly be in
common, but must rather connect the animals by simple contact only,
otherwise these parts would be broken when the animal changes its
place by vacating the inferior part of the tube.

The third variety is then the state of that portion of the
tube which is inhabited by the body of the animal, and not yet
interrupted by the septæ.

From the above observations, it is evident that this species, and
probably the entire genus _Favosite_ under which I have placed it,
will not arrange properly with the _Tubipores_, _Millepores_, &c.
but must be transferred to the _Polypiers Lamellifères_ of Lamarck.
And if the _Madrepora retepora_ of Solander and Ellis, is a true
_Porites_, as M. Lamarck supposes it to be from the appearance of
its tubes, I should conclude this genus to be very proximately
allied to _Favosites_, by that species and the _F. striata_ having
in common the remarkable character of fenestrated paries. But
to this character I should conceive a generic importance ought
to be attached, as indicating a differential organization of
the artificers. I have no doubt that on close inspection of a
perfect specimen, the same character will be found to exist in _F.
Gothlandicum_, and possibly also in _F. truncata_, if not in the
latter only, it may be proper to separate the genus and to withdraw
from _Porites_ the forementioned species, retaining to _striata_
as specifically essential, the second member of the differential

(_To be continued._)


ART. XIII. _Observations on Salt Storms, and the Influence of Salt
and Saline Air upon Animal and Vegetable Life. Read before the
Lyceum of Natural History of New-York, March 7, 1819, by_ JOHN B.

(Communicated for this Journal.)

Meteorology is a science of so much general concern, that it seems
to be incumbent upon every member of society to aid in augmenting
the stock of facts, which the labours of ingenious and scientific
men have already accumulated on that subject. Under this impression
I propose to devote the following paper to some observations on
_salt winds_ or _storms_, as they have occurred in this country
and in Europe--a subject, which although presenting many phenomena
of a more than temporary interest, has as yet excited but little
attention. Indeed, the opportunities for observation have occurred
so rarely as readily to account for its having in a great measure
escaped the philosophical acumen of the present age.

It must have been early observed that the atmosphere in the
vicinity of the sea frequently becomes impregnated with saline
materials; but the first and only account of a _salt storm_ that I
have met with, is to be found in the Transactions of the Linnæan
Society of London. The 8th volume of that work gives an interesting
narration of the effects of a storm of this description, which
occurred in England, in January, 1803. It was occasioned by an east
wind, which blew for some days, and which, in its passage over
the ocean, had imbibed large quantities of salt water, which were
afterward deposited upon the land. In most cases these depositions
proved fatal to the plants and vegetables which received them. So
extensive were the effects of this singular storm, that they were
felt in the vicinity of London, at a distance of about seventy
miles from the ocean, and in all the intermediate country. In
most instances, the leaves of the plants, which suffered from
it, appeared as if they had been scorched, and in some places
even the tops of the branches mortified. A storm of the same kind
took place in England, in February, 1804; and the memoir states,
that Sir Joseph Banks had noticed another some years before in

A storm attended with similar effects occurred in this country in
1815, and vented its fury upon the eastern states. It commenced on
the 23d of September, between eight and nine o'clock, A. M. with
the wind from the east. In about two hours the wind shifted to
southeast, and blew a perfect hurricane. The extended devastation
which ensued, is still in the recollection of every person. The
tides rose from nine to twelve feet higher than ordinary, and in
many of the principal cities and towns along the coast of New
England, churches, houses, bridges, wharves, and in some instances
valuable citizens, were buried in one common ruin. In less than
three hours the gale abated, and before sunset there was a perfect
calm. Such were the more striking features of this tremendous
gale--but other effects were observed more peculiarly interesting
to the philosopher. At New-London, Salem, and other places, both
on the coast, and several miles in the interior, the air was found
to be loaded with salt; and the leaves of many trees appeared, a
few hours after the storm, as if they had been scorched. Besides
this effect upon vegetables, there were additional evidences of
the saline quality of the wind. At Salem and some other places an
incrustation of salt was perceived on the windows, and the fruit in
several gardens had a perceptible taste of salt on their surface.
At New-London it was remarked that the air in the eddies was
extremely hot and suffocating.

Other facts of a similar nature might be collected, but these it is
presumed are sufficient to characterize the state of the atmosphere
during that storm.

Several interesting inquiries arise from the consideration of the
foregoing facts.

1. In what way does the salt exist in the atmosphere in these
storms? On this point there are two different opinions. The most
prevalent is, that it is merely the spray of the sea driven onward
by the force of the wind. This opinion has received the sanction of
Sir Joseph Banks,[56] and also of Sir Humphry Davy, if we may judge
from an incidental expression in his Agricultural Chemistry.[57]
Another opinion[58] is, that muriate of soda is continually rising
into the atmosphere from the surface of the ocean, and that the
air, in all maritime situations, is thus constantly more or less
impregnated with salt. The most striking fact in support of this
doctrine, (so opposite to the commonly received views on the
subject of the evaporation of sea water) is the actual existence of
muriate of soda in the rain and snow which fall in the vicinity of
the ocean.[59] The experiments of Vogel and Bouillon Lagrange, on
the distillation of sea water, are also in favour of the position,
that salt may be carried into the air in the ordinary process of
evaporation. On distilling salt water they found a considerable
quantity of muriate of soda in the receiver.[60]

Admitting the correctness of these experiments, still it is not
easy to conceive, how they will account satisfactorily for the
_large_ quantities of salt found in the air during the storms under

Whichever of these solutions may be adopted, it is unquestionably a
fact that salt does, in some way or other, exist in the atmosphere
in the neighbourhood of the sea.

2. The next object of inquiry is, the influence which this saline
air has upon vegetable life. Independently of the facts already
stated, there are many others which prove its deleterious agency
upon the vegetable creation. Dr. Mitchill informs me, that in some
parts of the south side of Long-Island fruit trees do not thrive
well, except at a distance of thirty miles from the sea, and even
the sturdy oak does not extend its branches towards the ocean.[61]
If I am correctly informed, it was with great difficulty, that
the trees on our Battery were made to accommodate themselves to a
situation so near the salt water. It is also well known, that when
plants are taken to sea, they speedily perish, if exposed but a
short time to a wind, which is sufficiently strong to turn over
the tops of the waves into _white caps_, as they are called by the

In order to ascertain positively, whether these effects were to be
attributed to the operation of salt, I made a solution of muriate
of soda in common rain water; with this I watered for a couple of
days the leaves of different plants. In a short time they began to
dry up, and in a few days were completely dead.

It appears from Volney, that the Egyptian air is strongly charged
with salts. The evidences of it are to be found even at Cairo.[62]
It is this property of the air, which this philosophical traveller
considers, as one of the causes of the rapid vegetation in that
country. He mentions, however, that _exotic_ plants will not thrive
there. It is found necessary to renew the seeds of them every year.
May not this be occasioned by the saline quality of the air? The
_native_ plants are doubtless accustomed to its action, and do not
so sensibly feel its injurious effects. And if the Egyptian air is
so very penetrating from this very cause, as to produce ophthalmia,
may we not rationally conclude, that its influence must be equally
injurious to plants not accustomed to it.

Another illustration of the influence of salt on vegetation is
to be found in the _Dead Sea_, or _Lake Asphaltites_. "In Lake
Asphaltites," says Volney, "there is neither animal nor vegetable
life. No verdure is to be seen on its banks, nor fish to be found
within its waters; but it is not true, that its exhalations are
pestiferous, so as to destroy birds flying over it. It is not
uncommon to see swallows skimming its surface, and dipping for
the water necessary to build their nests. The _true_ cause which
deprives it of vegetables and animals is the extreme saltness of
the water, which is vastly stronger than that of the sea. The
soil around it, equally impregnated with this salt, produces no
plants, and the _air_ itself, which becomes loaded with it from
evaporation, and which receives also the sulphureous and bituminous
vapours, cannot be favourable to vegetation; hence the deadly
aspect which reigns around this lake."[63]

3. In what way does the salt operate in producing its deleterious
effects on the leaves of vegetables? It is by no means easy to
answer this question. It cannot be by shutting up the pores of the
leaf, and thus obstructing its perspiration. It is well known that
when the surfaces of leaves are covered with oil, they will soon
die.[64] But salt water is certainly not sufficiently viscid to act
in a similar way.

Nor can it be satisfactorily attributed to the difference of
structure between maritime and land plants. There is some
difference indeed between many of these, maritime plants being
generally covered by a pubescence, of which most land plants are
destitute. It is idle however to suppose that the object of this
covering is to protect maritime plants from the action of the salt
air, as there are many of them which do not possess it. Besides,
is it not rational to conclude, from the large quantities of soda
which are always found in sea plants, that this saline atmosphere
is rather propitious than otherwise to their growth, and that it
only proves injurious to plants accustomed to the unadulterated air
of the land.

Again, I do not think that it can be explained by supposing, that
the salt is absorbed into the plant, and thus acts as a poisonous
substance. We know, that in land plants which are cultivated in the
neighbourhood of the sea, salt is absorbed through their roots.[65]
It must of course circulate with the juices through the whole
plant; and yet in these cases the leaves are not destroyed by it.

The most plausible method of explaining it appears to be this: that
the salt, by its irritating or corrosive power, destroys the small
vessels in the leaf which are necessary for the circulation going
on in it during health.

Dr. Darwin has ingeniously shown the analogy between the functions
of the leaves of plants, and the lungs of animals. If this be
admitted, it will not be difficult to account for the action of
salt upon leaves. This substance, when taken into the stomach,
proves not merely innocuous, but wholesome; but when accidentally
introduced into the lungs, irritation, inflammation, and death
are the consequences. So with plants--when admitted into them in
combination with their juices, it may be harmless; but when applied
to the lungs or leaves, death ensues.

4. I shall devote the remainder of this paper to a few concise
observations on the effects of salt, and a saline atmosphere, upon
_animal_ life.

Upon the more imperfect animals, such as slugs, worms, toads, &c.
it is well known that salt proves speedily destructive of life.
It is not my intention to attempt an explanation of this singular
fact. But it is remarkable that it should not have been turned to
better account in the treatment of those worms, which infest the
human body. Although used for that purpose by the common people
in Ireland as well as in this country, I believe it has not,
until very lately, claimed the attention of the profession, as an
anthelmintick. A late English journal[66] contains a notice of some
cases which satisfactorily prove its efficacy, when administered
with this intention. This fact, in addition to numerous others,
strikingly illustrates the advantages which the healing art might
derive from a careful observation of the phenomena daily developed
by the collateral sciences.

In cases of _hæmoptysis_ and _hæmatemesis_, common salt has been
used with decided success. The public is indebted to Dr. Rush, for
the introduction of this remedy into general practice.

Dr. Hosack informs me, that he has found sea air extremely salutary
in _remittent fever_, _cholera infantum_, and _dyspepsia_.

Among the deleterious effects caused by a _saline atmosphere_, may
be mentioned the _ophthalmia_ of Egypt. This disease is so common
there, "that out of a hundred persons," says Volney, "I have met
while walking the streets of Cairo, twenty have been quite blind,
ten wanting an eye, and twenty others have had their eyes red,
purulent, or blemished."[67] Throughout the Delta, and at Cairo,
this complaint is more prevalent than in any other part of Egypt.
In Syria it is also common, although less so than in Egypt, but
it is only met with on the _sea-coast_. The reasoning of Volney
on this subject, is decisive of the position, that the prevalence
of this complaint, in these regions, is owing to their proximity
to the ocean. In confirmation, he states that he has himself
experienced the irritating effects of the air of the Delta upon the
organ of vision.[68]

In those cases of _scurvy_ which occur in long voyages, the saline
nature of the atmosphere co-operates very powerfully with salt
provisions and bad water, in producing that general vitiation of
the system which characterizes this disorder.

Of all diseases, however, those of the lungs appear to be most
affected by a saline air. I have known a lady of this city who had
been afflicted for many years with _asthma_, to be essentially
benefited by a voyage across the Atlantic. Another case has fallen
under my observation, of a lady troubled with asthma, being much
relieved by removing from the interior to this city. What proves
beyond a doubt that her relief is owing to the air she breathes,
is, that whenever she takes a jaunt into the country, she is sure
to suffer a paroxysm of her old complaint.

_Pulmonary consumption_ certainly prevails more on the sea-coast,
than in the interior. In all our sea-port towns, it is this
disorder which so frightfully augments the catalogue of our bills
of mortality. According to Dr. Rush, "in Salem, in the state
of Massachusetts, which is situated near the sea, and exposed,
during many months of the year, to a moist east wind, there died
in the year 1799, 160 persons; fifty-three of whom died of the
consumption."[69] In Philadelphia, which is more remote from the
sea, the deaths from consumption are much less numerous than in
New-York, or the other cities immediately on the coast. In Great
Britain, which is exposed to the sea on all sides, it is calculated
that about 55,000 die annually from this disease.

Such are some of the facts on this subject; but the conclusion
does not appear to be warranted, that these pulmonary affections
arise from the irritating quality of the air. In Holland, the West
Indies, as well as in other countries and islands, exposed to the
sea air, consumption is of rare occurrence. In Syria, Volney even
states that the air of the coast is particularly favourable to
those labouring under this malady. Accordingly they are in the
habit of sending such patients from Aleppo to Latakia, or Saide,
where they may enjoy the benefit of sea air.[70]

Again, we know that many persons suffering from this affection,
have been completely cured by a voyage, after all the resources of
medicine had been exhausted upon them in vain.

It is evident then, that a _pure_ sea air is not detrimental in
cases of consumption. Dr. Rush, with his usual ingenuity, explains
the prevalence of this complaint in our sea-ports, by attributing
it to the mixture of land and sea air; and in confirmation
observes, that "those situations which are in the neighbourhood of
bays and rivers, where the fresh and salt waters mix their streams
together, are more unfavourable to consumptive patients than the
seashore, and therefore should be more carefully avoided by them in
exchanging city for country air."[71]

Independently, however, of these causes, I think the frequent and
sudden vicissitudes of temperature, which we suffer on the coast,
are alone sufficient to account for the prevalence of catarrhal and
pneumonic affections, which most commonly are the precursors of

I trust the foregoing observations have not been considered too
_medical_ to comport with the objects of this Society. Natural
history is only useful in its practical applications; and if it
can be shown to throw any light upon an art, which contributes so
much to the comfort and happiness of man, we have established one
of the strongest considerations, which can recommend it to general
patronage and investigation. Physicians ought in an especial manner
to set a high value upon the researches of naturalists. The aid
they have already given is sufficient to entitle them to the
lasting gratitude of our profession. It was one of the merits of
that illustrious physician of our own time and country, Dr. Rush,
that he seized with avidity every fact, from whatever quarter
it might be drawn, to elucidate his favourite science. If ever
medicine shall attain to the elevation of a truly _philosophical
science_, it must be accomplished, in part at least, by imitating
his example, and by developing the infinite and diversified
associations which exist between it and the other sciences.

ART. XIV. _Thoughts on Atmospheric Dust. By_ C. S. RAFINESQUE,

1. "When we find the ruins of ancient cities buried under ground;
when the plough uncovers the front of palaces and the summit of
old temples, we are astonished: but we seldom reflect why they are
hidden in the earth. A sort of imperceptible dust falls at all
times from the atmosphere, and it has covered them during ages."

2. These are the words of the worthy and eloquent philosopher
VIREY, in his article Nature, Vol. XV. p. 373, of the French
Dictionary of Natural History. Even before reading them I had
observed the same phenomenon, and I have since studied their
effects in various places. I could quote one thousand instances of
the extensive and multifarious operations of this meteoric dust:
but I mean to give the results merely of those that fall daily
under notice, and are yet totally neglected; wishing to draw on
them the attention of chemists, philosophers, and geologists.

3. Whenever the sun shines in a dark room, its beams display a
crowd of lucid dusty molecules of various shapes, which were
before invisible as the air in which they swim, but did exist
nevertheless. These form the atmospheric dust; existing every where
in the lower strata of our atmosphere. I have observed it on the
top of the highest mountains, on Mount Etna, in Sicily, on the
Alps, on the Alleghany and Catskill mountains in America, &c. and
on the ocean.

4. It deserves to be considered under many views: which are its
invisibility, its shape and size, its formation and origin, its
motion, its deposition and accumulation, its composition, its uses,
and its properties.

5. This dust is invisible, owing to the tenuity of its particles,
but they become visible in the following instances; when the sun
shines on them, since they reflect the light, when their size is
increased, and when they are accumulated any where.

6. The size of the particles is very unequal, and their shape
dissimilar; the greatest portion are exceedingly small, similar to
a whitish or grayish spark, without any determinable or perceptible
shape; the larger particles are commonly lamellar or flattened, but
with an irregular margin, and the largest appear to be lengthened
or filiform; the gray colour prevails. Other shapes are now and
then perceptible with the microscope.

7. Among the properties of atmospheric dust are those of being
soft, as light as atmospheric air, of reflecting the rays
received directly from the sun, of possessing a kind of peculiar
electricity, which gives it a tendency to accumulate on some
bodies more readily than on some others, and of forming an earthy
sediment, which does not become effervescent with acids.

8. This dust is either constantly or periodically formed, but
chemically in the atmosphere like snow, hail, meteoric stones,
honey-dew, earthy rains, &c. by the combination of gaseous and
elementary particles dissolved in the air. Its analysis has never
been attempted by chemists; but the earthy sediment which is the
result of its accumulated deposition, proves that it is a compound
of earthy particles in a peculiar state of aggregation, and in
which alumine appears to preponderate, rather than calcareous or
silicious earths or oxides.

9. Its motion in calm weather, or in a quiet room, is very slow;
the particles appear to float in the air in all directions, some
rising, some falling, and many swimming horizontally, or forming
a variety of curved lines; what is most singular, is that no two
particles appear to have exactly the same direction; yet after
awhile the greatest proportion fall down obliquely, somewhat in the
same manner as a light snow in a calm day. When a current of air is
created naturally or artificially in the open air or in a room, you
perceive at once an increased velocity in their motion; they move
with rapidity in all directions; but when a strong current or wind
prevails, they are carried with it in a stream, preserving however,
as yet, their irregular up and down motion.

10. Its formation is sometimes very rapid, and its accumulation
very thick in the lower strata of our atmosphere, but the intensity
is variable. Whenever rain or snow falls, this dust is precipitated
on the ground by it, whence arises the purity of the air after rain
and snow; but a small share is still left, or soon after formed. In
common weather it deposits itself on the ground by slow degrees,
and the same in closed rooms. It forms then the dust of our floors,
the mould of our roofs, and ultimately the surface of our soil,
unless driven by winds from one place to another.

11. I have measured its accumulation in a quiet room, and have
found it variable from one-fourth of an inch to one inch in the
course of one year; but it was then in a pulverulent fleecy state,
and might be reduced by compression to one-third of its height,
making the average of yearly deposit about one-sixth of an inch.
In the open air this quantity must be still more variable, owing
to the quantities carried by the winds and waters to the plains,
valleys, rivers, the sea, &c. or accumulated in closed places or
against walls, houses, &c. I calculate, however, that upon an
average, from six to twelve inches are accumulated over the ground
in one hundred years, where it mixes with the soil and organic
exuviæ, to form the common mould.

12. The uses of this chronic meteor are many and obvious. It serves
to create mould over rocks, to increase their decomposition, to
add to our cultivable soil, to amalgamate the alluvial and organic
deposits, to fertilize sandy and unfruitful tracts in the course of
time, to administer to vegetable life, &c. It does not appear that
it has any bad influence on men and animals breathing it along with
air, unless it should be accumulated in a very intense degree.

13. At Segesta, in Sicily, are to be seen the ruins of an ancient
temple; the steps, which surround it on all sides below the
pillars, are built on a rock, on the top of a hill detached from
any other higher ground. Yet now all the steps and the base of the
pillars are under the ground, which has accumulated from this dust
and the decay of plants (not trees) to which it has afforded food.
There are from five to eight feet from the rock to the surface
of this new soil, which has chemically combined in a variety
of hardness. This soil has arisen there in about 2000 years,
notwithstanding the washings of rain. I quote this as a remarkable
instance of the increase of soil by aerial deposits, among many
which have fallen under my personal examination.

14. It is commonly believed that the dust of our rooms is produced
by the fragments of decomposed vestments, beddings, furnitures,
&c.; this cause increases it, and produces a different dust, which
mixes with the atmospheric dust; but it is very far from producing

15. The dust of the open air is ascribed to that raised from
roads and fields, by the pulverization of their surface; but this
secondary and visible dust is only a consequence of the first. From
whence could arise the dust observed by the means of the sunbeams
in a dark corner, in winter, when the ground is frozen, or when it
is wet and muddy, or at sea, or on the top of rocky mountains?

16. It is therefore a matter of fact, worth taking into
consideration by geologists, that the air still deposits a quantity
of dust, which must have been much greater in former periods. Just
the same as the sea deposits still a quantity of earthy and saline
particles dissolved in it, and which were superabundant at the
period when the rocky strata were formed on its bottom. Water being
more compact, deposits rocks. Air, which is less dense, deposits a
pulverulent matter!

ART. XV. _On the Effect of Vapour on Flame. By_ J. F. DANA,
_Chemical Assistant in Harvard University, and Lecturer on
Chemistry and Pharmacy in Dartmouth College_.

  _Cambridge, Mass. February 5, 1819._

  _To Professor Silliman._


About a year since I made some experiments on the effect of steam
on ignited bodies, with a view to learn the theory of the action
of the "American water-burner." These experiments were published
in an anonymous paper in the North American Review, and have been
published in London, without an acknowledgment of their source.

The effect of them concerning bodies is peculiar, and it probably
admits of more extensive application to the arts than in the above
named instrument alone.

When a jet of steam, issuing from a small aperture, is thrown
on burning charcoal, the brightness is increased, if the coal
be held at the distance of four or five inches from the pipe
through which the steam passes; but if the coal be held nearer it
is extinguished, a circular black spot first appears where the
steam is thrown on it. The steam in this case does not appear to
be decomposed, and the increased brightness of the coal depends
probably on a current of atmospheric air, occasioned by the steam.
But when a jet of steam, instead of being thrown on a single
coal, is made to pass into a charcoal fire, the vividness of the
combustion is increased, and the low attenuated flame of coal is

When the wick of a common oil lamp is raised, so as to give off
large columns of smoke, and a jet of steam is thrown into it, the
brightness of the flame is increased, and no smoke is thrown off.

When spirits of turpentine is made to burn on a wick, the light
produced is dull and reddish, and a large quantity of thick smoke
is given off; but when a jet of steam is thrown into this flame,
its brightness is much increased; and when the experiment is
carefully performed, the smoke entirely disappears.

When the vapour of spirits of turpentine is made to issue from
a small orifice, and inflamed, it burns, and throws off large
quantities of smoke; but when a jet of steam is made to unite with
the vapour, the smoke entirely disappears. When vapour of spirits
of turpentine and of water are made to issue together from the same
orifice, and inflamed, no smoke appears. Hence its disappearing, in
the above experiment, cannot be supposed to depend on a current of
atmospheric air.

When a jet of steam is thrown into the flame of a spirit of wine
lamp, or into flames which evolve no smoke or carbonaceous matter,
the same effect is produced as by a current of air.

It appears, from these experiments, that in all flames which evolve
smoke, steam produces an increased brightness, and a more perfect

Now, with a very simple apparatus, steam might be introduced into
the flames of street lamps, and that kind of lamp which is used
in butchers' shops in London, and in all flames which evolve
much smoke. The advantage of such an arrangement would be a more
perfect combustion, and a greater quantity of light from the same
materials. The flame of the lamps, to which steam is applied, might
be made to keep the water boiling which supplies the steam.

I hope the above may not be altogether uninteresting and useless to
the readers of your Journal.

  Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

  J. F. DANA.

ART. XVI. _Analysis of the Harrodsburg Salts, by_ EDWARD D. SMITH,
M. D. _Professor of Chemistry and Mineralogy in the South-Carolina

More than a year since I received a quantity of a white earthy
substance, which was said to be obtained by the evaporation of
certain mineral waters at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and there vended
at a considerable price, under the name of Epsom salts. The
respectable character who presented this powder to me, requested
that I would make an analysis of it; but I had not sufficient
leisure until lately, to pay the requisite attention to this
subject. The results of my examinations are now submitted to the
public eye.

The external qualities of this substance are as follow: small white
lumps, hard to the touch, but dry and easily yielding to pressure,
somewhat gritty to the teeth, and imparting an earthy and saline
taste to the tongue.

1. 120 grains of the powder were put into about a half ounce of
alcohol, digested for six hours, then, washed with more alcohol,
filtered and carefully dried.

2. On weighing the dry powder, the loss appeared to be but one
grain, so that it contains very little of any substance which is
soluble in alcohol.

3. 115 grains (four grains having been lost in the transfer from
the filter) were collected and put into rather more than eight
times their weight of cold distilled water, and digested for two

4. This watery solution was then filtered, and on weighing, the
residue appeared to be 48 grains, so that 67 grains must have been

5. 10 grains of the insoluble residue (4) were put into a flask,
with 10 ounces of distilled water, and boiled for 1 hour.

6. A small portion of this solution, on being tested with nitrate
of barytes, gave a copious white precipitate, with oxalic acid,
a white cloud; with ammonia, a slight white cloud; with muriatic
acid, a slight bluish tinge. From these tests it was inferred
that sulphate of lime was present, with perhaps a slight trace of
muriate of lime.

7. The remainder of this solution was filtered, and on weighing the
dried residuum, the loss appeared to be 2 grains, so that sulphate
of lime probably constitutes nearly ⅕ of the insoluble residence
(48 grains. 4.)

8. The watery solution, (4) which was supposed to contain 67
grains, was evaporated, and left a residue that weighed but 34
grains, so that 33 grains must have disappeared in the process.

9. Some of this residue dissolved in distilled water, was tested
with carbonate of soda, forming an immediate white cloud; with
nitrate of barytes, the same; with ammonia, the same; but with
oxalate of ammonia, it did not form any cloud until it had stood
some time, and then it was slight. From these tests it was inferred
that sulphate of magnesia was present.

10. A portion of the dried residuum (7) was treated with diluted
muriatic acid, which dissolved nearly the whole of it, with
considerable effervescence. The new compound, on examination,
proved to be muriate of lime; so that it may be concluded the
residuum (7) was principally carbonate of lime.

On considering the results of the preceding experiments, it will
appear that more than one half of the substances submitted to
analysis, was easily soluble in water, and from the chemical tests
used, that it was composed principally of sulphate of magnesia,
(Epsom salt) with perhaps a small portion of muriate of lime or
magnesia, that of the remainder, about ⅕ was sulphate of lime,
and difficultly soluble in water; and that the rest was perfectly
insoluble in water, and consisted principally of carbonate of lime.

There can be no doubt then, that the Harrodsburg salt, in its
present state, is very improperly prepared, containing in its
composition a large proportion of matter, that is not only inert,
but which may produce considerable inconvenience and injury in the
stomach and bowels, from its ponderous nature and tendency to form
mechanical obstructions. Perhaps the occurrence of such injury may
not be frequent, from the circumstance of a large portion of the
salt being so insoluble; but admitting this to be the fact, there
is a manifest impropriety in offering to the public, as medicine,
an article which cannot be used as such. Probably the proprietors
of this manufactory are not aware of the real nature of the case,
and of the facility with which, by a little additional trouble,
they could separate the useful and valuable material, from that
which is at least useless, and which might also be pernicious.

_South-Carolina College, March, 1819._

ART. XVII. _Additional Notice of the Tungsten and Tellurium,
mentioned in our last Number._

PART I. _Description of the Ore._

Colour, dark brown, almost black; brittle, powder a lighter shade
of brown than the mineral; hard, scratches glass, scintillates with
steel, with a red spark; a degree of polish produced, where the
steel strikes, and when the steel is impressed upon it.

Structure compact, in some places slightly porous; lustre,
generally dull, sometimes glimmering, and almost resinous.

Crystals octahedral. Specific gravity of three massive pieces, 5.7,
6. and 6.44 mean, 6.05 nearly; probably that of the crystals would
be higher.

Infusible by the blow-pipe even with borax, and does not by strong
ignition impart any colour to it or to potash; not magnetic, even
in fine powder, nor after being heated red hot on charcoal, and in
contact with burning grease.

Many specimens decrepitate violently under the blow-pipe. When
heated on coals in pieces of considerable size, they often explode
with a smart report, and are thrown in fragments sometimes several
yards from the fire.

Gangue quartz; accompanying minerals in the same vein, native
bismuth, native silver, galena, iron and copper pyrites, much
magnetic pyrites, blende, &c.

_Geological relations._ The country is primitive, and the immediate
rock which forms the walls of the vein is said to be gneiss; (we
have not seen it.)

Locality, town of Huntington, parish of New Stratford, county of
Fairfield, 20 miles west from New-Haven, Connecticut.

_Remark._ Native bismuth in small quantities, has been for several
years obtained from this mine, but the shaft has been sunk only
about ten feet.

PART II. _A variety of the Ore._

General characters as above, but on some parts, there is seen a
whitish, or yellowish, or sometimes darkish metallic substance; it
is in thin plates, like the leaf metals, and sometimes reticulated,
and graphic in its disposition; it is soft and easily cut with the
knife. In the specimens examined, it was so much blended with the
other ore, and so trifling in quantity, that it was not possible to
separate it mechanically, so as to examine it separately.

PART III.--A. _Chemical Trials._

1. Muriatic acid, hot or cold, produces no effect; hot
nitro-muriatic dissolves the ore with energy, red fumes are
evolved, and generally a red solution obtained, from which ammonia
precipitates red oxyd of iron abundantly.

2. A heavy lemon-yellow powder remains, insoluble of course in
acids, but easily and completely soluble in warm ammonia.

3. A dark powder, in diminished quantity, again appears, more acid
dissolves it in part, and again reveals the yellow powder, which
ammonia again dissolves, and so on, till nothing remains but some
portion of the gangue.

4. The ammoniacal solution, which contains the oxyd of tungsten, is
decomposed by acids, and by heat, and instantly deposits a white
heavy powder, becoming yellowish by standing, and full yellow by

5. This powder is infusible by the blow-pipe, but ignited with
borax in a platinum crucible, it became of a superb blue, like
smalt, or between that and Prussian blue.

6. The quantity obtained was too small to make it convenient to
attempt its reduction to the metallic state; no doubt remained,
however, that it was oxyd of tungsten, or as it is sometimes
called, tungstic acid.

7. There were traces of manganese, and all the facts perhaps
justify the conclusion, that the ore is very similar to the
ferruginous tungsten or wolfram.

8. The calcareous tungsten occurs in octahedral crystals, but we
have not before heard of this form in the ferruginous species,
which generally affects the prismatic forms.


We had been for some time inclined to believe, that the above ore
was ferruginous tungsten, but although fortified by the opinion of
Col. Gibbs, we were withheld from announcing it, because the form
of the crystals, the specific gravity, the colour, and perhaps
some other characters, were not perfectly accordant with European
descriptions, and with the specimens in our possession, which are
from Saxony and Cornwall.

During the necessary chemical trials (which have, we trust,
established the correctness of the above opinion,) we very
unexpectedly discovered in some of the ores of tungsten, proofs
of the existence of tellurium. The conclusion was induced by the
phenomena, for nothing was farther from our expectations.

Two fragments were pulverized _by an assistant_, and we therefore
cannot say whether they had any external characters different from
those of the other pieces; they came, however, from the same part
of the vein, and their powder resembled that of the other pieces.

1. Digested in nitro-muriatic acid, a straw-yellow solution,
slightly inclining to green, was obtained, and a black powder was
left behind.

2. More acid digested on this powder, gave a deep red solution of
iron, and left the yellow oxyd of tungsten, which being dissolved
in ammonia, the black powder again appeared, and so on, as under 3.
Part III.

3. The solution 1, diluted largely with water, deposited an
abundant white precipitate, which was very heavy and rapidly

4. Alcohol and ammonia, respectively produced the same effect, only
more decidedly.

5. This precipitate, evidently an oxyd of a metal, being collected
on a filter and dried, exhibited the following properties.

6. Heated by the blow-pipe on charcoal, it was instantly
volatilized in part, and in part decomposed, with an almost
explosive effervescence; numerous ignited globules of metal
appeared on the charcoal, and burned with an abundant flame of a
delicate blue colour, edged occasionally with green.

7. In many trials, these results always occurred, and sometimes
a peculiar odour was perceived, at first thought to be owing to
arsenic, but it was incomparably feebler, and somewhat resembled
that of radishes.[72]

8. Zinc, iron, and tin, plunged into separate portions of the
nitro-muriatic solution, precipitated abundantly a black flocculent

9. On charcoal before the blow-pipe, this substance was very
combustible, with a blue flame, and was completely dissipated in
the form of white oxyd, with the above smell.

10. Some of it was obtained on the charcoal in metallic globules;
it was a brittle metal, white, with a tinge of red, and foliated,
but not so distinctly as bismuth and antimony.

11. The filters on which the white oxyd had been deposited, burned
almost with explosion, nearly as rapidly as if they had been soaked
with nitrate of potash, or of ammonia, and the characteristic blue
flame appeared while the burning lasted.

12. Other experiments were made upon the metal, (not the oxyd.) It
gave to strong sulphuric acid, (simply by standing in it in the
cold) an amethystine colour, which disappeared as the acid grew
weaker, by attracting water from the air.

13. With nitric acid it formed a colourless solution, not
decomposed by water.

14. It did not dissolve in muriatic acid, till a few drops of
nitric acid were added.

15. The white oxyd heated with charcoal in a small coated recurved
glass tube, afforded brilliant metallic globules, which rose by
distillation, collected in the bend of the tube, and resembled
drops of quicksilver, except that they were solid.


The above facts having induced the conclusion that the metal, thus
unexpectedly discovered in the ores of tungsten, was tellurium,[73]
we were led to search for external characters by which to judge
what specimens contained it. The ores from Transylvania, (the
only telluric ores with which we are acquainted,) bearing no
analogy in appearance or composition to those before us, we were
led to inquire whether the tellurium in these latter ores was _in
combination_ with tungsten, or merely _in mixture_. The external
characters detailed in part II, tend perhaps to fortify the
latter opinion. If we mistake not, we there found a proper ore of
tellurium mixed with a proper ore of tungsten, but we have also by
chemical means, found tellurium where similar external characters
were not apparent. Before the appearance of our next Number, we
hope to obtain purer and better specimens. In the mean time we add
the following facts.

1. A crystal, and a massive piece of the kind described under part
I, and specimens of two varieties of those described under part II,
were digested in nitro-muriatic acid.

2. Both oxyd of tungsten, and oxyd of tellurium were obtained from
all of them.

3. Many specimens have been examined which have afforded tungsten
only, and no tellurium.

At a convenient time, it is hoped that a more complete examination
of this subject may be presented to the public.

In the mean time, we may submit to mineralogists and chemists,
whether if this is not a new mineral, it is not at least a new
association of two minerals before known. It has not been forgotten
that gold and silver are frequently combined with tellurium:
neither of them has, however, been discovered, (although sought
after by proper tests) during the above trials.

_Yale College, March, 1819._

ART. XVIII. _A Substitute for Woulfe's or Nooth's Apparatus,
by_ ROBERT HARE, M. D. _Professor of Chemistry in the Medical
Department of the University of Pennsylvania, and Member of various
Learned and Scientific Societies_. With a Plate.

Few subjects have more occupied the attention of chemists, than
the means of impregnating fluids with gaseous substances. The
contrivances of Woulfe and Nooth, especially the former, have
been almost universally used; and have gained for the inventors
merited celebrity. Various improvements in Woulfe's bottles have
been devised. Still I believe an apparatus replete with similar
advantages, but less unwieldy, less liable to fracture; and having
fewer junctures to make at each operation, has been a great
desideratum with every practical chemist. It has, however, ceased
to be so with me, since I contrived the apparatus which I am about
to describe.

Fig. 1. represents 3 jars placed concentrically within each other,
and so proportioned and situated, as to admit 2 open-necked
concentric bell glasses alternately between them. The neck of
the exterior bell glass is introduced into the tubulure of the
receiver above, and receives the neck of the interior bell glass.
Into this is inserted a trumpet-shaped tube. The two interior jars
are furnished with feet F, _f_. In order to put this apparatus into
operation, remove (without taking them apart) the bell glasses,
receiver, and tube from the jars. Pour into the latter the fluid,
to be impregnated, till it reaches the height marked by the dots.
The funnel mouth, _m_, of the receiver being provided with a
suitable cork soaked in wax, fasten into it firmly the beak of the
retort, containing the generating materials. The bell glasses are
then to be replaced in the jars, and arranged as in the figure. It
must be self-evident that the gas proceeding from the retort, (if
the juncture at _m_ be air tight) must press on the fluid in the
innermost jar, through the trumpet-shaped tube. If not imbibed with
adequate speed, it must soon press on the fluid at _a_, causing it
to subside to the narrow part of the foot _f_, and thus to expose
a much larger surface. If the absorption be still inadequate, a
further subsidence must ensue, and the gas escaping round the
brim of the interior bell glass will act on the fluid at _b_, and
enlarge its surface by depressing it to the narrow part of the foot
F. Should the increased pressure and more extended contact thus
obtained, be still incompetent to effect a complete absorption, the
excess of the gas may escape round the brim of the external bell
glass into the atmosphere.

[Illustration: _Fig. 1._

_Fig. 4._

_Fig. 5._

_Fig. 3._

_Fig. 2._

_Drawn & Engraved by Kneass, Young & Co._]

But so effectual is this process in promoting impregnation, that
I have obtained strong muriatic acid in the central jar, without
producing any sensible acidity in the outside one. Absorption
into the retort or receiver, is prevented by not allowing as much
fluid to be above the mouth of the trumpet-shaped tube, as would
be competent to fill the cavity between it, and the termination
of the open neck of the exterior bell glass at _t_. As this neck
rises about 2 or 3 inches into the receiver, it prevents any foul
matter which may condense or boil over, from getting into the jars.
If practicable, it would be better that the bell glasses, and
tube, and receiver, should be united together while hot, at the
glass-house. If all could not be joined in this way, it would still
be advantageous to unite thus the receiver, and the exterior bell
glass. The interior bell and tube might then be fastened together,
by grinding or luting. As yet I have only used lutings of waxed
cloth, or cork. It may be proper to point out, that 3 or more
concentric bell glasses, and 4 or more jars, might be used. The
union of the bells, receiver, and tube once effected, it is hardly
more troublesome to use 3 than 2. When the fluid in the central jar
is saturated, this may be emptied and replenished from the middle
jar, the latter from the external one. Then supplying the external
jar anew, the process may be continued.

The other figures are to explain an apparatus on the same
principle, constructed of hollow, oblong paralellopipeds, differing
in length more than in breadth; so as to allow a serpentine tube to
wind into the interior, and deliver gas under a vessel shaped like
a T.

Fig. 2. represents a vertical section of the whole as when situated
for use.[74]

Fig. 3. a vertical section of the lower vessels only.

Fig. 4. a vertical section of the covers alone.

Fig. 5. a horizontal section, or ground plan of the lower vessels.
The upper vessels are so proportioned as to divide the distances
between the lower ones equally.

It may be well to mention, that this apparatus, from the facility
with which it may be cleaned and inspected internally, admits of
being made of porcelain or stone ware.[75] I have had a cylindrical
one constructed of the latter material, in which the covers are
in one piece, with a tube in the centre for introducing gas. The
apparatus may be made more efficacious, by drilling a series of
small holes round the brims of the bell glasses or covers, so as to
cause the gas, instead of passing round the brims in large bubbles,
to divide itself into very small ones. By this means it will be
more thoroughly intermingled with fluid.

ART. XIX. _A New Theory of Galvanism, supported by some Experiments
and Observations made by means of the Calorimotor, a new Galvanic
Instrument. Read before the Academy of Natural Sciences,
Philadelphia,[76] by_ ROBERT HARE, M. D. _Professor of Chemistry
in the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, and
Member of several Learned Societies_.

(With an Engraving.)

I have for some time been of opinion that the principle extricated
by the Voltaic pile is a compound of caloric and electricity, both
being original and collateral products of Galvanic action.

The grounds of this conviction and some recent experiments
confirming it, are stated in the following paper.

It is well known that heat is liberated by the Voltaic apparatus,
in a manner and degree which has not been imitated by means of
mechanical electricity; and that the latter, while it strikes at a
greater distance, and pervades conductors with much greater speed,
can with difficulty be made to effect the slightest decompositions.
Wollaston, it is true, decomposed water by means of it; but the
experiment was performed of necessity on a scale too minute to
permit of his ascertaining, whether there were any divellent polar
attractions exercised towards the atoms, as in the case of the
pile. The result was probably caused by mechanical concussion, or
that process by which the particles of matter are dispersed when
a battery is discharged through them. The opinion of Dr. Thomson,
that the fluid of the pile is in quantity greater, in intensity
less, than that evolved by the machine, is very inconsistent with
the experiments of the chemist above mentioned, who, before he
could effect the separation of the elements of water by mechanical
electricity, was obliged to confine its emission to a point
imperceptible to the naked eye. If already so highly intense,
wherefore the necessity of a further concentration? Besides, were
the distinction made by Dr. Thomson correct, the more concentrated
fluid generated by a galvanic apparatus of a great many small
pairs, ought most to resemble that of the ordinary electricity;
but the opposite is the case. The ignition produced by a few
large Galvanic plates, where the intensity is of course low,
is a result most analogous to the chemical effects of a common
electrical battery. According to my view, caloric and electricity
may be distinguished by the following characteristics. The former
permeates all matter more or less, though with very different
degrees of facility. It radiates through air, with immeasurable
celerity, and distributing itself in the interior of bodies,
communicates a reciprocally repellent power to atoms, but not to
masses. Electricity does not radiate in or through any matter; and
while it pervades some bodies, as metals, with almost infinite
velocity; by others, it is so far from being conducted, that it can
only pass through them by a fracture or perforation. Distributing
itself over surfaces only, it causes repulsion between masses, but
not between the particles of the same mass. The disposition of the
last-mentioned principle to get off by neighbouring conductors, and
of the other to combine with the adjoining matter, or to escape by
radiation, would prevent them from being collected at the positive
pole, if not in combination with each other. Were it not for a
modification of their properties, consequent to some such union,
they could not, in piles of thousands of pairs, be carried forward
through the open air and moisture; the one so well calculated to
conduct away electricity, the other so favourable to the radiation
of caloric.

Pure electricity does not expand the slips of gold-leaf, between
which it causes repulsion, nor does caloric cause any repulsion
in the ignited masses which it expands. But as the compound fluid
extricated by Galvanic action, which I shall call electro-caloric,
distributes itself through the interior of bodies, and is evidently
productive of corpuscular repulsion, it is in this respect more
allied to caloric than to electricity.

It is true, that when common electricity causes the deflagration
of metals, as by the discharge of a Leyden jar, it must be supposed
to insinuate itself within them, and cause a reaction between
their particles. But in this case, agreeably to my hypothesis, the
electric fluid combines with the latent caloric previously existing
there, and, adding to its repulsive agency, causes it to overpower

Sir Humphry Davy was so much at a loss to account for the continued
ignition of wire at the poles of a Voltaic apparatus, that he
considers it an objection to the materiality of heat; since the
wire could not be imagined to contain sufficient caloric to keep
up the emission of this principle for an unlimited time. But if we
conceive an accumulation of heat to accompany that of electricity
throughout the series, and to be propagated from one end to the
other, the explanation of the phenomenon in question is attended by
no difficulty.

The effect of the Galvanic fluid on charcoal is very consistent
with my views, since, next to metals, it is one of the best
conductors of electricity, and the worst of heat, and would
therefore arrest the last, and allow the other to pass on. Though
peculiarly liable to intense ignition, when exposed between
the poles of the Voltaic apparatus, it seems to me it does not
display this characteristic with common electricity. According to
Sir Humphry Davy, when in connexion with the positive pole, and
communicating by a platina wire with the negative pole, the latter
is less heated than when, with respect to the poles, the situation
of the wire and charcoal is reversed. The rationale is obvious:
charcoal, being a bad conductor, and a good radiator, prevents the
greater part of the heat from reaching the platina, when placed
between it and the source whence the heat flows.

I had observed that as the number of pairs in Volta's pile had
been extended, and their size and the energy of the interposed
agents lessened, the ratio of the electrical effects to those
of heat had increased; till in De Luc's column they had become
completely predominant; and, on the other hand, when the pairs were
made larger and fewer (as in Children's apparatus) the calorific
influence had gained the ascendancy. I was led to go farther in
this way, and to examine whether one pair of plates of enormous
size, or what might be equivalent thereto, would not exhibit heat
more purely, and demonstrate it, equally with the electric fluid,
a primary product of Galvanic combinations. The elementary battery
of Wollaston, though productive of an evanescent ignition, was too
minute to allow him to make the observations which I had in view.

Twenty copper and twenty zinc plates, about nineteen inches
square, were supported vertically in a frame, the different metals
alternating at one half inch distance from each other. All the
plates of the same kind of metal were soldered to a common slip, so
that each set of homogeneous plates formed one continuous metallic
superficies. When the copper and zinc surfaces, thus formed, are
united by an intervening wire, and the whole immerged in an acid,
or aceto-saline solution, in a vessel devoid of partitions, the
wire becomes intensely ignited; and when hydrogen is liberated
it usually takes fire, producing a very beautiful undulating, or
coruscating flame.

I am confident, that if Volta and the other investigators of
Galvanism, instead of multiplying the pairs of Galvanic plates,
had sought to increase the effect by enlarging one pair as I have
done, (for I consider the copper and zinc surfaces as reduced to
two by the connexion) the apparatus would have been considered
as presenting a new mode of evolving heat, as a primary effect
independently of electrical influence. There is no other indication
of electricity when wires from the two surfaces touch the tongue,
than a slight taste, such as is excited by small pieces of zinc and
silver laid on it and under it, and brought into contact with each

It was with a view of examining the effects of the proximity and
alternation in the heterogeneous plates that I had them cut into
separate squares. By having them thus divided, I have been enabled
to ascertain that when all of one kind of metal are ranged on one
side of the frame, and all of the other kind on the other side of
it, the effect is no greater than might be expected from one pair
of plates.

Volta, considering the changes consequent to his contrivance as
the effect of a movement in the electric fluid, called the process
electro-motion, and the plates producing it electro-motors. But
the phenomena show that the plates, as I have arranged them, are
calori-motors, or heat movers, and the effect calori-motion.
That this is a new view of the subject, may be inferred from the
following passage in Davy's Elements. That great chemist observes,
"When very small conducting surfaces are used for conveying very
large quantities of electricity, they become ignited; and of the
different conductors that have been compared, charcoal is most
easily heated by electrical discharges,[78] next iron, platina,
gold, then copper, and lastly, zinc. The phenomena of electrical
ignition, whether taking place in gaseous, fluid, or solid
bodies, always seem to be the result of a violent exertion of the
electrical attractive and repellent powers, which may be connected
with motions of the particles of the substances affected. That no
subtile fluid, such as the matter of heat has been imagined to be,
can be discharged from these substances, in consequence of the
effect of the electricity, seems probable, from the circumstance,
that a wire of platina may be preserved in a state of intense
ignition in vacuo, by means of the Voltaic apparatus, for an
unlimited time; and such a wire cannot be supposed to contain an
inexhaustible quantity of subtile matter."

But I demand where are the repellent and attractive powers to
which the ignition produced by the Calorimotor can be attributed?
Besides, I would beg leave respectfully to inquire of this
illustrious author, whence the necessity of considering the heat
evolved under the circumstances alluded to as the effect of the
electrical fluid; or why we may not as well suppose the latter
to be excited by the heat? It is evident, as he observes, that
a wire cannot be supposed to contain an inexhaustible supply of
matter however subtile; but wherefore may not one kind of subtile
matter be supplied to it from the apparatus as well as another;
especially, when to suppose such a supply is quite as inconsistent
with the characteristics of pure electricity, as with those of pure

It is evident from Mr. Children's paper in the Annals of
Philosophy, on the subject of his large apparatus, that the
ignition produced by it was ascribed to electrical excitement.

For the purpose of ascertaining the necessity of the alternation
and proximity of the copper and zinc plates, it has been mentioned
that distinct square sheets were employed. The experiments have
since been repeated and found to succeed by Dr. Patterson and Mr.
Lukens, by means of two continuous sheets, one of zinc, the other
of copper, wound into two concentric coils or spirals. This, though
the circumstance was not known to them, was the form I had myself
proposed to adopt, and had suggested as convenient for a Galvanic
apparatus to several friends at the beginning of the winter;[79]
though the consideration above stated induced me to prefer for a
first experiment a more manageable arrangement.

Since writing the above, I find that when, in the apparatus of
twenty copper and twenty zinc plates, ten copper plates on one side
are connected with ten zinc on the other, and a communication made
between the remaining twenty by a piece of iron wire, about the
eighth of an inch in diameter, the wire enters into a vivid state
of combustion on the immersion of the plates. Platina wire equal to
No. 18 (the largest I had at hand) is rapidly fused if substituted
for the iron.

This arrangement is equivalent to a battery of two large Galvanic
pairs; excepting that there is no insulation, all the plates being
plunged in one vessel. I have usually separated the pairs by a
board, extending across the frame merely.

Indeed, when the forty plates were successively associated in
pairs, of copper and zinc, though suspended in a fluid held in
a common recipient without partitions; there was considerable
intensity of Galvanic action. This shows that, independently of
any power of conducting electricity, there is some movement in the
solvent fluid which tends to carry forward the Galvanic principle
from the copper to the zinc end of the series. I infer that
electro-caloric is communicated in this case by circulation, and
that in non-elastic fluids the same difficulty exists as to its
retrocession from the positive to the negative end of the series,
as is found in the downward passage of caloric through them.

It ought to be mentioned, that the connecting wire should be placed
between the heterogeneous surfaces before their immersion, as the
most intense ignition takes place immediately afterward. If the
connexion be made after the plates are immersed, the effect is much
less powerful; and sometimes after two or three immersions the
apparatus loses its power, though the action of the solvent should
become in the interim much more violent. Without any change in the
latter, after the plates have been for some time suspended in the
air, they regain their efficacy. I had observed in a Galvanic pile
of three hundred pairs of two inches square, a like consequence
resulting from a simultaneous immersion of the whole.[80] The bars
holding the plates were balanced by weights, as window-sashes are,
so that all the plates could be very quickly dipped. A platina
wire, No. 18, was fused into a globule, while the evolution of
potassium was demonstrated by a rose-coloured flame arising from
some potash which had been placed between the poles. The heat
however diminished in a few seconds, though the greater extrication
of hydrogen from the plates indicated a more intense chemical

Agreeably to an observation of Dr. Patterson, electrical excitement
may be detected in the apparatus by the condensing electroscope;
but this is no more than what Volta observed to be the consequence
of the contact of heterogeneous metals.

The thinnest piece of charcoal intercepts the calorific agent,
whatever it may be. In order to ascertain this, the inside of a
hollow brass cylinder, having the internal diameter two inches,
and the outside of another smaller cylinder of the same substance,
were made conical and correspondent, so that the greater would
contain the less, and leave an interstice of about one-sixteenth
of an inch between them. This interstice was filled with wood, by
plugging the larger cylinder with this material, and excavating the
plug till it would permit the smaller brass cylinder to be driven
in. The excavation and the fitting of the cylinders was performed
accurately by means of a turning lathe. The wood in the interstice
was then charred by exposing the whole covered by sand in a
crucible to a red heat. The charcoal, notwithstanding the shrinkage
consequent to the fire, was brought into complete contact with
the inclosing metallic surfaces by pressing the interior cylinder
further into the exterior one.

Thus prepared, the interior cylinder being made to touch one of
the Galvanic surfaces, a wire brought from the other Galvanic
surface into contact with the outside cylinder, was not affected in
the least, though the slightest touch of the interior one caused
ignition. The contact of the charcoal with the containing metals
probably took place throughout a superficies of four square inches,
and the wire was not much more than the hundredth part of an inch
thick, so that unless it were to conduct electricity about forty
thousand times better than the charcoal, it ought to have been
heated; if the calorific influence of this apparatus result from
electrical excitement.

I am led finally to suppose, that the contact of dissimilar metals,
when subjected to the action of solvents, causes a movement in
caloric as well as in the electric fluid, and that the phenomena
of Galvanism, the unlimited evolution of heat by friction, the
extrication of gaseous matter without the production of cold,
might all be explained by supposing a combination between the
fluids of heat and electricity. We find scarcely any two kinds
of ponderable matter which do not exercise more or less affinity
towards each other. Moreover, imponderable particles are supposed
highly attractive of ponderable ones. Why then should we not infer
the existence of similar affinities between imponderable particles
reciprocally? That a peculiar combination between heat and light
exists in the solar beams, is evident from their not imparting
warmth to a lens through which they may pass, as do those of our
culinary fires.

Under this view of the case, the action of the poles in Galvanic
decomposition is one of complex affinity. The particles of
compounds are attracted to the different wires agreeably to their
susceptibilities to the positive and negative attraction, and the
caloric leaving the electric fluid with which it had been combined,
unites with them at the moment that their electric state is

As an exciting fluid, I have usually employed a solution of one
part sulphuric acid, and two parts muriate of soda with seventy of
water; but, to my surprise, I have produced nearly a white heat by
an alkaline solution barely sensible to the taste.

For the display of the heat effects, the addition of manganese, red
lead, or the nitrates, is advantageous.

The rationale is obvious. The oxygen of these substances prevents
the liberation of the gaseous hydrogen, which would carry off the
caloric. Adding to diluted muriatic acid, while acting on zinc,
enough red lead to prevent effervescence, the temperature rose from
70 to 110 Fahrenheit.

The power of the calorimotor is much increased by having the
communication between the different sheets formed by very large
strips or masses of metal. Observing this, I rendered the sheets
of copper shorter by half an inch, for a distance of four inches
of their edges, where the communication was to be made between the
zinc sheets; and, vice versa, the zinc was made in the same way
shorter than the copper sheets where these were to communicate with
each other. The edges of the shortened sheets being defended by
strips of wood, tin was cast on the intermediate protruding edges
of the longer ones, so as to embrace a portion of each equal to
about one quarter of an inch by four inches. On one side, the tin
was made to run completely across, connecting at the same time
ten copper and ten zinc sheets. On the other side there was an
interstice of above a quarter of an inch left between the stratum
of tin embracing the copper, and that embracing the zinc plates.
On each of the approaching terminations of the connecting tin
strata was soldered a kind of forceps, formed of a bent piece of
sheet brass, furnished with a screw for pressing the jaws together.
The distance between the different forceps was about two inches.
The advantage of a very close contact was made very evident by the
action of the screws; the relaxation or increase of pressure on the
connecting wire by turning them being productive of a correspondent
change in the intensity of ignition.

It now remains to state, that by means of iron ignited in this
apparatus, a fixed alkali may be decomposed extemporaneously.[81]
If a connecting iron wire, while in combustion, be touched by the
hydrate of potash, the evolution of potassium is demonstrated by
a rose-coloured flame. The alkali may be applied to the wire in
small pieces in a flat hook of sheet iron. But the best mode of
application is by means of a tray made by doubling a slip of sheet
iron at the ends, and leaving a receptacle in the centre, in which
the potash may be placed covered with filings. This tray being
substituted for the connecting wire, as soon as the immersion of
the apparatus causes the metal to burn, the rose-coloured flame
appears, and if the residuum left in the sheet iron be afterward
thrown into water, an effervescence sometimes ensues.

I have ascertained that an iron heated to combustion, by a
blacksmith's forge fire, will cause the decomposition of the
hydrate of potash.

The dimensions of the Calorimotor may be much reduced without
proportionably diminishing the effect. I have one of sixty plates
within a cubic foot, which burns off No. 16, iron wire. A good
workman could get 120 plates of a foot square within a hollow cube
of a size no larger. But the inflammation of the hydrogen which
gives so much splendour to the experiment, can only be exhibited
advantageously on a large scale.

[Illustration: CALORIMETER

 _Fig. 1._

_Fig. 2._

_Fig. 3._

_Fig. 4._

_Drawn & Engraved by Kneass, Young & Co._]


A _a_, Fig. 1st, two cubical vessels, 20 inches square, inside.
_b b b b_ a frame of wood containing 20 sheets of copper, and 20
sheets of zinc, alternating with each other, and about half an
inch apart. T T _t t_ masses of tin cast over the protruding edges
of the sheets which are to communicate with each other. Fig. 2,
represents the mode in which the junction between the various
sheets and tin masses is effected. Between the letters _z z_, the
zinc only is in contact with the tin masses. Between _c c_ the
copper alone touches. It may be observed, that, at the back of
the frame, ten sheets of copper between _c c_, and ten sheets of
zinc between _z z_, are made to communicate, by a common mass of
tin extending the whole length of the frame, between T T: but in
front, as in fig. 1, there is an interstice between the mass of
tin connecting the ten copper sheets, and that connecting the ten
zinc sheets. The screw forceps, appertaining to each of the tin
masses, may be seen on either side of the interstice: and likewise
a wire for ignition held between them. The application of the rope,
pulley, and weights, is obvious. The swivel at S permits the frame
to be swung round and lowered into water in the vessel _a_, to wash
off the acid, which, after immersion in the other vessel, might
continue to act on the sheets, encrusting them with oxide. Between
_p p_ there is a wooden partition which is not necessary, though it
may be beneficial.

Fig. 3, represents an apparatus alluded to, page 419. It consists
of a couronne des tasses, reduced to a form no less compact
than that of the trough. Hollow parallelopipeds of glass are
substituted for tumblers or cells. The plates are suspended to bars
counterpoised like window-sashes.

The advantages are as follows. The material is one of the best
non-conductors, is easily cleansed, and is the most impervious to
solvents. The fracture of one of the cups is easily remedied by
a supernumerary. They may be procured (as in the United States)
where porcelain cannot be had. The shock from 300 pairs is such as
few will take a second time. Some of the effects have already been

At Fig. 4, one of the hollow glass parallelopipeds on an enlarged
scale is represented.


ART. XX. _An improved Method of obtaining the Formulæ for the Sines
and Cosines of the Sum and Difference of two Arcs, by_ PROFESSOR
STRONG, _of Hamilton College_.


In the circle ABCD let AB and BC denote any two arcs contiguous
to each other. Draw their limiting diameters A_a_, C_c_; their
sines B_x_, B_y_; and join _x_, _y_. Then will _xy_ = sine of (AB
+ BC): for if upon OB as a diameter we describe a circle, it will
manifestly pass through the points _x_ and _y_, (since the angles
O_x_B, O_y_B are right, see Euc. 31. 3.) therefore O_x_B_y_ is a
quadrilateral inscribed in a circle described on OB as a diameter,
and the angle _y_O_x_ at the circumference stands upon an arc
whose chord is _xy_. Again, if from _a_ we draw _ad_ perpendicular
to C_c_, it will be the sine of the arc _ac_ (= AB + BC). If now
we describe a circle on _a_O as diameter, it will pass through
_d_, (see Euc. 31. 3.) therefore _ad_ is the chord of an arc on
which the angle _a_O_c_ stands in the circle described on _a_O.
But in equal circles the chords of arcs on which equal angles at
the centres or circumferences stand are equal; (see Euc. 26. and
29. 3.) hence _xy_ = _ad_ = sin(AB + BC). Now sine O_x_B_y_ is a
quadrilateral inscribed in the circle described on OB as diameter,
we shall have (Euc. D. 6.)

  OB · xy = Bx · Oy + By · Ox = sinAB · cosCB + sinCB · cosAB.

  If OB be denoted by r, we shall have xy, or

  sin(AB + BC) = (sinAB · cosCB + sinCB · cosAB)/r.

  If AB = A, BC = B, and the radius r = 1,

  sin(A + B) = sinA · CosB + sinB · cosA;

which is the known formula for the sine of the sum of two arcs, to
the radius 1.

Again, if through O we draw the diameter DE perpendicular to A_a_,
then will DC be the complement of (AB + BC). Draw C_p_, the sine of
DC = cos(AB + BC). Through B draw the diameter B_b_; from _b_, draw
the sines _bz_, _br_, of the arcs _bc_, _b_E respectively, and join
_z_, _r_. Then by describing two circles, one on _b_O as diameter,
the other on OC, it may be proved as before that the circle
described on _b_O passes through the points _z_ and _r_, and that
the circle described on CO passes through _p_: and hence, by the
same reasoning as before, _zr_ = C_p_ = cos(AB + BC). Now O_bzr_
being a quadrilateral inscribed in the circle described on _b_O, we
have (by the prop. before cited)

  bO · zr + Or · bz = br · Oz;

  and hence bO · zr = br · Oz - Or · bz.

But _br_ = sine arc _b_E = sine arc BD; and since BD is the
complement of AB, _br_ = cosAB. In like manner O_z_ = cosBC, O_r_ =
sinAB, and _bz_ = sinBC; hence by substitution,

  bO · zr = cosAB · cosBC - sinAB · sinBC.

  By using the same notation as before, we have

  cos(A + B) = (cosA · cosB - sinA · sinB)/r
             = (if r = 1) cosA · cosB - sinA · sinB,

which is the known formula for the cosine of the sum of two arcs.

The same construction will answer for the two remaining cases: for
if we suppose that _b_E and _bc_ are two arcs, then will _c_E be
their difference, and _zr_ the sine of _c_E, as proved above; hence

  zr (= sin(bE - bc)) =  (br · Oz - Or · bz)/bO.

But _br_ = sin_b_E, and O_r_ = its cosine; and _bz_ = sine _bc_,
and O_z_ = its cos., hence if _b_E be denoted by _a_, _bc_ by _b_,
and O_b_ as before, then will

  sin(a - b) = (sina · cosb - sinb · cosa)/r
             = (if r = 1) sina · cosb - sinb · cosa.

Again, AB + BC is the complement of DC or _c_E; hence by the first
part of the above investigation,

  xy = sin(AB + BC) = coscE:

  but xy or sin(A + B) = cos(a - b) = (sinA · cosB + sinB · cosA)/r;

and as sinA or AB = cosBD = cos_b_E, O_x_ = cosA or AB = sinBD =
sin_b_E, B_y_ = _bz_ = sin_bc_, and O_y_ = O_z_ = cos_bc_, we
shall have, by substitution,

  cos(a - b) = (cosa · cosb + sina · sinb)/r,
             = (if r = 1) cosa · cosb + sina · sinb.

From what has been said it appears, that if A and B be any two
arcs, of which A is the greatest, then

  Sin(A ± B) = (sinA · cosB ± sinB · cosA)/r;

  Cos(A ± B) = (cosA · cosB ∓ sinA · sinB)/r.

When the radius _r_ is supposed = 1, the denominators in these
formulæ disappear. In the latter, A and B are used for _a_ and _b_,
for the sake of homogeneity. The propriety of this is manifest; for
as _a_ and _b_ denote two indefinite arcs, the same reasoning will
apply to A and B, as to _a_ and _b_, the first being supposed in
each case the greatest.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following Diophantine Problem was proposed for solution
some months ago in a Periodical Journal, which has since been
discontinued. To those who are interested in speculations of this
nature, we presume that the following solution, forwarded by
Professor STRONG, of Hamilton College, will not be unacceptable.


_To find three positive rational Numbers, x, y, and z, such that
x^2 - y, x^2 - z, y^2 - x, and y^2 - z may all be squares._

  Assume x - ay for the root of the square x^2 - y:

  then x^2 - y = (x - ay)^2, whence x = (a^2y + 1)/2a.

  In like manner, by assuming x - bz for the root of the square x^2 - z,

  we find z = (2bx - 1)/b^2.

  But y^2 - x = y^2 - (a^2y + 1)/2a, (since x = (a^2y + 1)/2a);

  and as this is to be made a square, assume y - c((a^2y + 1)/2a)
  for its root; whence, by proceeding as before, we find

  y = (2a + c^2)/(4ca - a^2c^2).

  But x = (a^2y + 1)/2a = (by substituting for y its value)

  (a^2 + 2c)/(4ca - c^2a^2).

  Again z = (2bx - 1)/b^2 = (by substituting for x its value)

  [2b((a^2 + 2c)/(4ca - c^2a^2)) - 1]/b^2; hence

  y^2 - z = [((2a + c^2)/(4ca - c^2a^2))^2 × b^2
  - 2b((a^2 + 2c)/(4ca - c^2a^2)) + 1]/b^2

  (by substituting for y and z their values;) and as this also is
  to be made a square, assume for its root (be - 1)/b. Then we shall have

  ((2a + c^2)/(4ca - c^2a^2))^2 × b^2
  - 2b((a^2 + 2c)/(4ca - c^2a^2)) + 1 = (be - 1)^2;

  from which, by reduction,

  b = 2 × [e(4ca - c^2a^2)^2 - (a^2 + 2c)(4ca - c^2a^2)]
        / [e^2(4ca - c^2a^2)^2 - (2a + c^2)^2].

  Hence the values of the required numbers are as follows:

  z = (2bx - 1)/b^2,
  (in which the value of b is to be found from the last equation,)

  x = (a^2 + 2c)/(4ca - c^2a^2), and

  y = (2a + c^2)/(4ca - c^2a^2).

The numbers _a_, _c_, and _e_, are to be so assumed that _x_, _y_,
and _z_ may come out positive. If _a_ = 1, _c_ = 2, and _e_ = 2,
then will _x_ = 5/4, _y_ = 3/2, and _z_ = 14/9, which numbers
will be found upon trial to satisfy the question. It may also be
observed that _c_ and _a_ being positive, _ca_ must not exceed 4;
but the form of the above expressions for _x_, _y_, _z_, will be
sufficient to direct us how _a_, _c_, and _e_, are to be assumed.


ART. XXI. _An Account of several Ancient Mounds, and of two Caves,
in East Tennessee, by_ MR. JOHN HENRY KAIN, _of Knoxville_.

(Communicated for the American Journal of Science, &c.)


On the plantation of Mr. John Kain of Knox county, near the north
bank of the Holston River, 5 miles above its junction with the
French Broad, is a curious collection of mounds of earth, evidently
the work of art, but of an almost antediluvian antiquity, if we may
form any conjecture of their age, from that of the forest which
grows around and upon them. They are about half a dozen in number,
and arise on about half an acre of level ground without any seeming
regularity. They are pyramidal in their shape, or rather sections
of pyramids, whose bases are from 10 to 30 paces in diameter. The
largest one in this group rises about 10 feet above the level
ground, and is remarkably regular in its figure. A perpendicular
section of this mound was made about a year since, but no important
discovery was made. It was found to consist of the surface thrown
up, and contained a good deal of ashes and charcoal.

This group of mounds is surrounded by a ditch, which can be
distinctly traced on three sides, and enclosing besides the mounds,
several acres of ground. It is like the mounds covered with trees,
which grow in it and about it. At every angle of this ditch, it
sweeps out into a semicircle, and it appears in many respects well
calculated for defence.

There are many other mounds of the same form in Tennessee. At the
junction of the French Broad with the Holston, there is one in
which human bones are said to have been found. Farther up French
Broad, near Newport, is a very large mound. It reposes on a very
level and extensive plain, and is itself the largest I ever saw. It
is thirty feet high, and its base covers half an acre of ground.
As it ascends from its base, there is a slight inclination from
a perpendicular on all sides, and the upper surface is as level
as the rest is regular. From the great size of this mound, its
commanding situation, and the mystery which veils its history, it
is a most interesting spot of ground. There are many other mounds
of this description in the State of Tennessee, but I have not
visited them.

Though not immediately connected with this subject, I take the
liberty to subjoin an account of a remarkable cave or grotto, in
a bluff of limestone, on the south bank of the Holston River,
opposite the mounds first described. The bluff is perhaps 100 feet
high and 50 wide. The grotto is a large natural excavation of the
rock, 60 feet high and 30 feet wide. It is very irregular, and to
the very top bears marks of the attrition of waves. The river to
have been so high, must have covered the valley through which it
now winds its quiet way. The excavation gradually diminishes in
size as you proceed backward, till at 100 feet from the entrance,
it terminates. A remarkable projection of the rock divides the
back part into two stories. This grotto, whose walls are hung with
ivy, and the bluff crowned with cedars, and surrounded by an aged
forest, on which the vine clambers most luxuriantly, viewed from
the river which winds slowly around it, and reflects its image, is
more than beautiful: it is even venerable. But what renders it most
interesting to many visitors, is a number of rude paintings, which
were, as tradition reports, left on it by the Cherokee Indians.
These Indians are known to have made this cave a resting-place,
as they passed up and down the River Holston. These paintings
are still distinct, though they have faded somewhat within my
remembrance. They consist of representations of the sun and moon,
of a man, of birds, fishes, &c. They are all of red paint, and
resemble in this respect, the paintings on Paint Rock near the warm

Much has been said of the objects of curiosity in the country
north of us; and I took the liberty to describe some of them in
my preceding communication. Indeed we may say, without danger of
exaggeration, that the range of Alleghany Mountains presents a
variety of the most curious features, and many objects of beauty
and sublimity. I have noticed a few of the most prominent, but "the
half is not told."

_Extract of a Letter, &c._

  _Knoxville, Nov. 24, 1818._

I was on a visit to a friend a few days since, about 30 miles to
the north of this, and was invited by him to visit an interesting
curiosity in the neighbourhood. We crossed the Clynch River where
it is much confined by mountains, and banks as high as mountains.
Our guide conducted us to the foot of a steep declivity, where we
left our horses, and with some difficulty ascended about 70 yards.
Here we came to the mouth of a cave which had been stopped up by a
stone wall. The wall was made of limestone and mortar, which is now
harder than the stone itself. It is, without a doubt, artificial,
for besides the evidence afforded by its structure, it contains
bones and animal remains.

What was this wall built for? There was a tradition among
the inhabitants that it contained money, and they were much
disappointed on opening it, not to find any. Like other caves,
it contains a variety of calcareous concretions, and I obtained
some fine specimens of brown spar, which I will take the first
opportunity to send you.

  I remain your Friend,


N. B. This wall is 10 feet thick.

_For the American Journal of Science, &c._


  _Dear Sir_,

Should you think the facts detailed in the following statement
worthy of publication, you are at liberty to publish them. The
knowledge of the first, I derived in the year 1802, from a
gentleman and a lady, both inhabitants of the town where the person
whose case is detailed, lived: of the third in 1802, from the same
lady: and of the second in 1802, from a lady, a near relative of
Mrs. S. When the facts were communicated to me, I immediately
committed them to writing, and to avoid mistakes, read what I had
written to the persons communicating them.

  I am very respectfully,

  Your Friend, and obedient Servant,


ART. XXII. _Facts illustrative of the Powers and Operations of the
Human Mind in a Diseased State._

1. Some years ago a farmer of fair character, who resided in an
interior town in New England, sold his farm, with an intention of
purchasing another in a different town. His mind was naturally
of a melancholy cast. Shortly after the sale of his farm, he was
induced to believe that he had sold it for less than its value.
This persuasion brought on dissatisfaction, and eventually a
considerable degree of melancholy. In this situation, one of his
neighbours engaged him to enclose a lot of land, with a post and
rail fence, which he was to commence making the next day. At the
time appointed he went into the field, and began with a beetle and
wedges to split the timber, out of which the posts and rails were
to be prepared. On finishing his day's work, he put his beetle and
wedges into a hollow tree, and went home. Two of his sons had been
at work through the day in a distant part of the same field. On
his return, he directed them to get up early the next morning, to
assist him in making the fence. In the course of the evening he
became delirious, and continued in this situation several years;
when his mental powers were suddenly restored. The first question
which he asked after the return of his reason, was, whether his
sons had brought in the beetle and wedges. He appeared to be wholly
unconscious of the time that had elapsed from the commencement of
his delirium. His sons, apprehensive that any explanations might
induce a return of his disease, simply replied that they had been
unable to find them. He immediately arose from his bed, went into
the field where he had been at work a number of years before, and
found the wedges, and the rings of the beetle, where he had left
them, the beetle itself having mouldered away. During his delirium,
his mind had not been occupied with those subjects with which it
was conversant in health.

2. Mrs. S., an intelligent lady, belonging to a respectable family
in the State of New-York, some years ago undertook a piece of fine
needlework. She devoted her time to it almost constantly for a
number of days. Before she had completed it, she became suddenly
delirious. In this state, without experiencing any material
abatement of her disease, she continued for about seven years; when
her reason was suddenly restored. One of the first questions which
she asked after her reason returned, related to her needlework.
It is a remarkable fact, that during the long continuance of her
delirium she said nothing, so far as was recollected, about her
needlework, nor concerning any such subjects as usually occupied
her attention when in health.

3. A lady in New England, of a respectable family, was for a
considerable period subject to paroxysms of delirium. These
paroxysms came on instantaneously, and after continuing an
indefinite time, went off as suddenly; leaving her mind perfectly
rational. It often happened that when she was engaged in rational
and interesting conversation, she would stop short in the midst
of it, become in a moment entirely delirious, and commence a
conversation on some other subject, not having the remotest
connexion with the previous one, nor would she advert to that
during her delirium. When she became rational again, she would
pursue the same conversation in which she had been engaged during
the lucid interval, beginning where she had left off. To such a
degree was this carried, that she would complete an unfinished
story or sentence, or even an unfinished word. When her next
delirious paroxysm came on, she would continue the conversation
which she had been pursuing in her preceding paroxysm; so that she
appeared as a person might be supposed to do, who had two souls,
each occasionally dormant, and occasionally active, and utterly
ignorant of what the other was doing.


ART. XXIII. 1. _Discovery of American Cinnabar and Native Lead._

  _Extract of a letter from Dr. Comstock of Hartford, to the Editor._


In answer to your inquiry concerning the discovery of sulphuret of
mercury and native lead in this country, I send you the following
summary of a letter I received from B. F. Stickney, Esq. Indian
agent, dated Fort Wayne, Dec. 1, 1818.

Mr. Stickney states, that the situation of Fort Wayne, and the
country surrounding, is a high level, probably about 800 feet
above the sea. From this place the water-courses divide and take
different directions, on the one hand falling into the Gulf of
Mexico, and on the other into the Bay of St. Lawrence. The whole
country is of secondary formation, chiefly calcareous and aluminous.

Bitumen and sulphur are every where to be found, and as usual,
accompanied by the metals.

In speaking of the cinnabar, his words are, "I have found a black
and garnet-coloured sand, in great abundance on the shores of
the Lakes Erie and Michigan, this is a sulphuret of mercury, and
yields about sixty per cent. It is so easy to be obtained, and
in so convenient a form for distillation, that it must become an
important article of commerce."

The native lead was found on the Anglaize River, at a considerable
distance from the fort.

Of this he says, "metallic lead is so interspersed with galena, as
to prove incontestably the existence of native lead."


  Your obedient Servant,


  _Hartford, Conn. Feb. 17, 1819._

  _Benjamin Silliman, M. D., &c._

2. _Theoretical views of Professor Hare of Philadelphia._

We are authorized to mention, that Dr. Robert Hare has taught in
his lectures during the last eighteen months, that acid properties
never appearing in the absence of water, this fluid or its elements
are most entitled to be considered as the acidifying principle:
but that probably it does not exist in acids as water, but is
decomposed when added to them, the particles of hydrogen and oxygen
by their different polarities taking opposite sides of those
composing the base. The extrication of hydrogen by the action of
diluted sulphuric acid on iron or zinc, being the consequence of
a previous, not simultaneous decomposition of water. Hence when
sulphuric or nitric acids are so concentrated as to char or ignite,
they are not acids really.

3. _New Work on Chemistry._

Dr. John Gorham of Boston, Professor of Chemistry in Harvard
University, &c. has published the first volume of his Elements of
Chemical Science. The work will be comprised in two volumes, and
its completion will be anticipated with interest by the scientific

4. _Botanical._

Dr. Romer of Zurich, has begun, since 1815, to publish a new
edition of the Systema Vegetabilium of Linnæus; he proceeds in its
publication; it will form several volumes.

Robert Brown of London, is endeavouring to group the natural orders
of plants into natural classes, or rather into larger natural
orders, with determinate characters: he has communicated some parts
of his labour to the botanists of Paris. He has been the first to
employ as a new character in the distinction of natural orders, the
estivation of flowers, or the manner in which they are folded in
the buds.

C. S. Rafinesque, in his Analysis of Nature, has adopted a new
practice, that of giving single substantive Latin names to the
natural orders and families of plants.

Mirbel has proposed a new nomenclature of fruits in his Elements of

Decandolle, after publishing the principles of the science in
his Theory of Botany, has begun to undertake a general species
plantarum, according to the natural classification.

Three splendid Floras of the south of Europe have been undertaken.
1. Flora Græca, by Sibthorp and Smith in England. 2. Flora
Lusitanica, by Link and Hoffmansegg in Germany. 3. Flora
Nepolitana, by Tenore in Naples. They are very expensive works, and
are not yet terminated. _Received in January, 1819._

5. _Staurotide._

  Extract of a letter to the Editor, from John Torrey, M.D., of


"Mr. Pierce and myself lately found staurotide on the island of
New-York. It occurs in considerable quantity in a rock of _mica
slate_, on the banks of the Hudson, about three and a half miles
from the city. The crystals very seldom form the perfect cross,
though many were found, intersecting each other imperfectly at
angles of 60°. Several single crystals were obtained exceedingly
perfect. They were short 4-sided prisms, with the acute lateral
edges truncated at each extremity on the two solid angles of
the most obtuse lateral edges, forming diedral terminations at
each extremity of the prism. The faces of these terminations were
inclined to each other at an angle of 67° and a few minutes. The
annexed figure shows the form of the crystal."

6. _Supplement to the "Remarks on the Geology and Mineralogy of a
Section of Massachusetts, on Connecticut River, &c." contained in
No. 2, Art. I, of this Journal, by_ E. HITCHCOCK, A. M.

The following minerals, found in the region above named, were
either omitted in the former list, or have been noticed since that
was made out.

  _Bog-iron Ore._ In Greenfield and Warwick.

  _Hornstone._ Rare; in Deerfield and Conway.

  _Silicious Slate._ In rolled pieces, on the banks of Deerfield
  river; not abundant.

  _Basanite_, or _Lydian Stone_. Same locality.

  _Augite._ In an aggregate of greenstone, quartz, and calcareous
  spar, in the greenstone range, Deerfield. Colour black, and the
  crystals usually imperfect, or broken.

  _Staurotide._ In mica slate, Northfield, one mile east of the
  village, on the turnpike to Boston. The crystals observed were
  six-sided prisms. The same rock contains reddish garnets.


This name is given to a granite range that emerges from the
puddingstone near the centre of Amherst, and extends northerly,
with some interruption, nearly thirty miles, through Leverett
and Montague to Northfield. And, indeed, there is some reason to
suppose that it again appears to the north of Northfield. The range
is widest in Leverett, where its breadth is more than a mile. It
is noticed in the "Remarks," No. 2, Art. I, of this Journal, and
may be seen on the section accompanying that communication. But on
further examination it has been found to be more extensive than was
supposed. The texture of the rock is coarse. Plates of mica, 3 or
4 inches across, are common in it; and one specimen of a beautiful
blue feldspar, the fragment only of a crystal, measured in one
direction 8 inches.

Two circumstances in this range give it an interest in the eye of a
geologist. The one is its proximity to sandstone and puddingstone;
and the other, its small elevation in comparison with the
surrounding rocks of later formations. In some places no other rock
could be found lying between the granite and puddingstone; though
the soil prevented my observing whether there is an actual contact.
But in general there is a stratum of mica slate a few rods wide
between these rocks, and not unfrequently gneiss lies between the
mica slate and granite.

Standing on this range in Leverett, you have on the west, at
about 100 rods distant, a precipitous mountain of sandstone and
puddingstone, five or six hundred feet higher than the granite. On
the east, a mile or two distant, a mountain of sienite gradually
rises to a still greater height than the puddingstone; and on the
southwest, at nearly the same distance, you can see an alluvial
formation. In general this granite does not rise so high as the
adjacent rocks, whether secondary or primitive.


1. _Of Galena in Leverett._

This ore forms a narrow vein in the southwest part of the town,
on land of Moses Smith, two miles from the Congregational
meeting-house. The direction of the vein is nearly north and south,
and where I saw it, only a foot wide. The gangue is sulphate of

2. _Of Galena, Copper Pyrites, and Blende._

This vein is a little more than a mile north of the one above
described, and it may be a continuation of the same vein. The
gangue is nearly an equal admixture of sulphate of barytes and
quartz; and galena and sulphuret of copper are disseminated through
it in about the same, that is, equal proportions. The blende, which
is of a yellowish aspect when the fractured crystal is held in a
certain position, appears only occasionally. This vein is several
feet wide, has been wrought to a small extent in two places, and
its direction is nearly north and south. It is on land of Mr. Field.

_Radiated quartz._ In the above vein. A considerable tendency to
crystallization appears at this place, not only in the quartz, but
in the foliated structure of the barytes.

_Brown spar._ In the same place. But little of this mineral was
noticed. It exfoliated before the blowpipe, turned black, and
became magnetic.

3. _Of Specular Oxide of Iron in Montague._

This is found in a partially detached eminence, 100 feet high, near
the north line of Montague, on land of Mr. Taft, a little southwest
from the confluence of Miller's river with the Connecticut. The
whole hill, not less than 100 rods in circumference at its base, is
traversed by numerous veins of this ore; and scarcely a foot of the
rock is to be seen that does not contain these, varying in width
from a mere line to several inches. The principal vein appears on
the top of the hill; and is, as nearly as I could determine, not
less than ten feet wide, lying in a north and south direction. The
ore seems to be abundant, and generally pure. Masses, that have
been separated by blasting, and weighing from 100 to 200 pounds,
lie on the surface. A small proportion of sulphuret of iron was
observed in some specimens. The gangue is quartz, and the walls and
hill granite.

No opinion is here intended to be offered concerning the probable
value of these ores, if worked. If they be useless to the present
generation, they may not be so to some future one, when labour
shall be cheaper; and therefore it was thought to be of some
consequence to point out their localities.

In the remarks, to which this paper is a supplement, _blue quartz_
was inadvertently put down among the minerals found in Deerfield.
I presume it does not exist there. It is also probable that the
variety of garnets found in Conway, is not, as formerly stated, the

7. _New Process for Tanning._

A process for effecting the tanning of leather in a neat,
expeditious, and thorough manner, has been discovered by a Mr.
Steel, of Connecticut: some account of it may be given hereafter.

8. _Connexion between Chemistry and Medicine._

This subject has been discussed in an able and interesting manner
by Professor Cooper, of Philadelphia, in a public discourse, which
has now been some months before the public.

9. _Brucite._

A new Species in Mineralogy, discovered by the late Dr. Bruce. We
hope to publish in the next Number a description and analysis of it.

10. _Lithography._

We are promised for our next Number, a full account of this art,
of which we have received a beautiful specimen, _A Minerva_,
executed by Mr. Bates Otis, an ingenious and enterprising artist
of Philadelphia, who, under the patronage of Dr. Samuel Brown, is
preparing to disseminate the productions of his skill, and to make
this important art (executed with American materials,) extensively
useful in this country.

N. B. As this number has already much exceeded its proper size, we
are obliged to suppress many articles of domestic, and all those of
foreign intelligence.


In the prospectus of this work, the expectation was expressed that
each Number would contain from 64 to 80 pages; that as many as
four Numbers might be issued within the year, and engravings were
promised for such subjects as might require them.

The Numbers published, have actually contained from 104 to 132
pages, the four have been issued within a period of ten months, and
twelve copper-plate engravings and several woodcuts, illustrate the
present volume.

Of the subjects proposed in the plan of the work, our pages contain
notices, more or less extensive, of Geology, Mineralogy, Botany,
Zoology, Chemistry, Natural Philosophy, Mathematics, Useful Arts,
Fine Arts, Inventions, Reviews, Biography, and Intelligence. How
far then we have redeemed our pledge, we leave it for our readers
to decide.

In the commencement of an enterprise, for the first time attempted
in this country, an enterprise arduous in its nature and uncertain
in its issue, it will not be doubted that considerable solicitude
was experienced.

To concentrate American efforts in science and the arts, by
furnishing a Journal to record their proceedings, will, in our
view, not only have a direct influence in promoting the honour
and prosperity of the nation as connected with its physical
interests, but will also tend in no small degree to nourish an
enlarged patriotism, by winning the public mind from the odious
asperities of party. That entire success will attend our efforts,
it would perhaps be presumptuous to expect, but we trust that
the interesting previous question, whether such a work can be
adequately sustained, by appropriate materials, may be considered
as now decided. The support which we have received, and for which
we are deeply grateful, has been far beyond our most sanguine
hopes, and has caused us to dispense with no small portion of those
less important efforts of our own, with which we were prepared to
succour our infant undertaking.

If we may be allowed to express a wish relative to the nature of
future communications, it would be, that those of a scientific
nature should not be diminished, while those relating to the arts,
to agriculture, and to domestic economy, should be increased; we
particularly solicit the communications of practical men, versed in
the useful and ornamental arts, and they will be acceptable should
they not even be clothed in a scientific dress.

Arrangements have been made for the reception of an increased
number of the best European Journals, both from the continent and
from Britain; they have already begun to arrive, and we hope to
give in future numbers, more full details of foreign scientific
intelligence, although it is true that this species of information
has hitherto been stinted, not from poverty of materials, but from
the pressure of original American communications.

       *       *       *       *       *

In justice to the publishers of this work, we add, that _this
publication is an expensive one_; very heavy advances have been
already made by them, while only a trivial amount has been received
in return. It is hoped, therefore, that subscribers will promptly
remit, _free from postage_, the small stipulated sum, and also make
the required advance for the succeeding volume. This last is not
due till the first number of that volume has been issued, but it
would save postage to remit both sums at once, and thus also it
will be known what subscriptions are continued. In a subscription
so widely dispersed over a large portion of the United States, an
inattention to _punctual payment_, must soon put in hazard the
existence of a work, having otherwise the fairest prospects of
continuance, and we hope of usefulness.

Should this appeal be promptly answered, the first number of
the next volume (already in considerable forwardness,) will be
published in the course of the summer; and should men of ability
continue to furnish communications, and _the public be willing to
pay for the work_, it is our wish to publish future numbers with
greater frequency, and to complete our volumes whenever we are
prepared, without confining ourselves to particular periods of time.

_New-Haven, Conn. May 17, 1819._



We have the pleasure to announce, that an American Geological
Society has been recently organized by an association of gentlemen,
residing in various parts of the United States. An Act of
Incorporation, conferring the necessary powers, has been granted by
the Legislature of Connecticut, and farther accounts of the plan
and progress of the Society may be expected in future numbers of
this work.


[46] See Number 1. page 59.

[47] The proper name of these prairies, and of one of the places
where they are found, being illegible in the MS, we were obliged
to omit those names; we believe however that the sense is not

[48] Former orthography, _Toghconnuck_ and _Toghconnuc_. That of
the text deviates farther from the _Indian_, but is later and

[49] See Map.

[50] If this memoir should ever meet the eye of this amiable
man, I trust he will excuse the notice to which his labours so
justly entitle him. To him we are indebted for a complete science
of crystallography, and for having determined the existence and
limit of species, which mineralogists had not obtained, and
chemists could not determine. He has devoted a long life to the
improvement of science, and it is his praise, that he has preserved
the meekness of religion amidst the most flattering success.
Our scientific countrymen, who have visited Paris, have been
particularly indebted to him; and this notice is, in their behalf,
both the tribute of justice and gratitude.

[51] _Mr. Nuttall_ will excuse me for retaining _my own specific
name_. His knowledge of this plant was derived from my Herbarium,
where he found it under the name of _tripsacum cylindricum, Mich_?
Although it can hardly be the plant of _Michaux_, it was so
considered by the late _Dr. Muhlenberg_, when specimens were first
communicated to him. It remains under this name in his Herbarium,
but is not included in his _work on the grasses_. He left it for me
to describe along with other new and doubtful plants from the south.

[52] This is the specific name found in my Herbarium by _Mr.
Nuttall_, under which it had been previously transmitted to Mr.
Elliott. _Vid._ _Nuttall's North American Genera_, v. I. p. 83.

[53] _Mr. Nuttall_ was probably deceived from having examined the
_spikes_ before they were fully evolved.

[54] Mr. Stephen Elliott has confirmed the description of Aublet,
in his Botany of the Southern States. (Received January, 1818.

[55] I refer the scientific reader for further particulars to
"_An account of a storm of Salt_, which fell in January, 1803. By
Richard Salisbury, F.R.S. L.S." in the Transactions of the Linnæan
Society of London. Vol. VIII. p. 207-10.

[56] Linnæan Transactions. Vol. VIII. p. 289.

[57] P. 339. Lond. ed.

[58] Maintained by Dr. Mitchill.

[59] My friend, Dr. John Torrey, has favoured me with the following
results of some experiments, which he made at my request upon
the last snow which fell. "A pint and a half of snow water was
reduced by evaporation to a few drops. On testing this with
vegetable blue infusions no alteration of colour took place. It was
afterward evaporated to dryness, and about a quarter of a grain
of a solid residuum was obtained. This was redissolved in a small
quantity of pure rain water, and prussiate of potash added to it,
without occasioning any precipitate. Nitrate of silver produced
a white precipitate so copious, that the solution was thick with
it. Carbonate of soda produced no effect. The transparency of a
solution of muriate of barytes was not disturbed by it. These
experiments prove, that a _free acid_ does not exist in snow water,
but that the muriate exists in it combined with an alkali, which is
most probably soda."

[60] Mr. J. Murray, of London, considers this to be a mistake.
_Free muriatic acid_, and not muriate of soda, he says, will be
found in the recipient.--_Elements of Chemistry._ Part I. p. 212.
Lond. ed. 1818.

[61] That is, in those oaks which grow near the salt water, the
branches that directly face the sea do not attain so great size and
strength as those on the opposite side; this has also been observed
on the south side of Long-Island.

[62] Volney's Travels in Syria and Egypt. Vol. I. p. 48. Perth ed.

[63] Volney's Travels in Syria and Egypt. Vol. I. p. 217.

[64] Darwin's Botanic Garden. P. 256.

[65] To prove that salt is absorbed into land plants growing near
the sea, the following facts, for which I am indebted to my friend,
Dr. D. V. Knevels, are conclusive. The fruit of those cocoa-nut
trees which grow near the seashore in the West-Indies is generally
found to have a saltish taste; and even the milk in the nut is
perceptibly impregnated with it. Those trees on the contrary which
grow in the interior, beyond the influence of salt water, have
their fruit perfectly fresh and sweet.

The same gentleman informs me, that in a plantation of his
father's, in the West-Indies, situated on the seashore, a whole
crop of the cane was rendered unfit for the purpose of making
sugar, in consequence of the great quantity of salt which it had

[66] Journal of Science and the Arts. No. X.

[67] Volney's Travels in Syria and Egypt, Vol. I. p. 167.

[68] On the subject of the Egyptian ophthalmia, it may be asked
"why it does not appear in innumerable other situations, equally
exposed to salt air, as Cape Cod, and the West-India Islands?"
To this it may be replied, that in the production of any disease
whatever, a _predisposing_ state of the system is as necessary as
an _exciting_ cause. This predisposition appears to exist in a
great degree among the Egyptians, and depends upon the nature of
their climate, their habits, and mode of living, all of which have
a tendency to produce _debility_ of the eyes, and thus render them
more susceptible of the impression of those causes which excite

[69] Rush's Medical Observations and Inquiries, Vol. II. p. 132.

[70] Volney's Travels, Vol I. p. 226.

[71] Rush's Observations and Inquiries, Vol. II. p. 133.

[72] This was most remarkably perceived on one occasion, where,
under the idea that possibly chrome might exist in the ores, they
had been intensely heated in a forge along with pearl ashes. The
mass, when lixiviated, gave only a greenish solution, becoming
colourless by nitric acid, and again greenish by an alkali; this
was supposed to be owing to iron and manganese. No metal was
obtained, except a few minute globules of attractable iron, but the
laboratory was filled with white fumes, having the peculiar odour
alluded to.

[73] Several of the facts, we are aware, accord with the properties
of bismuth, between which and tellurium there are several strong
points of resemblance, but a number of other facts appear
irreconcilable with the properties of that metal, and of every
other except tellurium.

[74] Excepting, that the covers ought to be so depressed, as that
their brims may be lower than the bottoms of the interior vessels
over which they are placed respectively. This is necessary to
prevent the gas from escaping, ere it have access to the surface of
the fluid beneath those bottoms.

[75] The apparatus may also be made of glass bottles, duly
proportioned, and cut (truncated) alternately near the shoulder and
near the bottom.

[76] In whose Journal it was ordered to be printed, but, to prevent
delay, it was published, by the Author, in a separate paper, and
forwarded by him to the Editor of this Journal.

[77] Possibly the electric fluid causes decompositions when emitted
from an impalpable point (as in the experiments of Wollaston)
because its repulsive agency is concentred between integral atoms,
in a mode analogous to that here referred to; a filament of water
in the one case, and of wire in the other, being the medium of

[78] The conclusions are drawn from experiments made by the
electricity of the Voltaic apparatus.

[79] Especially to Dr. T. P. Jones, and Mr. Rubens Peale, who
remember the suggestion.

[80] See Plate. Fig. 3.

[81] This evidently differs from the common mode of decomposing the
fixed alkalies by galvanism: there the effect depends on electrical
attractions and repulsions--here on the chemical agency of ignited
iron produced _extemporaneously_ in the galvanic circuit: this mode
of operating appears to be new. _Editor._

[82] The glasses may be had by applying to Edw. A. Pearson, No. 71
Cornhill, Boston.


  _Accidents_ from fulminating powders, 168.

  _Acid_, (sulphuric) lake of, 49, 58
                     river of, 59.

  _Address_ to the people of the Western Country, 203.

  _Agates_, 49, 134, 236.

  _Alkali_, a new one, 309, 310.

  _Alleghany_ mountains, 60.

  _Alluvial_ formation, 324.

  _Alveolites_, 383.

  _Alumine_, pure, 310.

  _American_ Geological Society, 442.

  _Amianthus_, 55.

  _Analcime_, at Deerfield, 134.

  _Antigua_, silicious petrifactions of, 56
    --geology of, 141.

  _Apatite_, 236.

  _Apparatus_, improvement on Woolf's, &c., 410.

  _Asbestos_, 237, 243.

  _Asclepias_ lanceolata, 252.

  _Atwater_, (Caleb, Esq.) on prairies, 116
    --on Ohio, 207
    --on Belmont county, 226
    --on winds of the west, 276.

  _Augite_, 244, 310.


  _Baldwin_, (Dr. William) on Rottböllia, 355.

  _Barbuda_, (island of) its geology, 142.

  _Barrens_ and Prairies of the West, 116.

  _Barrow's_ travels, extract from, 148.

  _Barytes_, (sulphat of) 63, 237, 240.

  _Basins_, peculiar formation of, 213.

  _Battery_, (electrical) of Dr. Dana, 292.

  _Beck_, (Dr. John B.) on salt storms, 388.

  _Belmont_ county, Ohio, its geology, &c., 227.

  _Beryl_ of Haddam, 242.

  _Bigelow_, (Prof.) on American climate, 76.

  _Blende_, 50.

  _Blow-pipe_, compound, priority of discovery and use of, 97.

  _Boats_, steam, 8.

  _Bodies_, dead, preservation of, 307, 8.

  _Bones_, extraction of gelatine from, 170.

  _Botany_, American, 5.

  _Brace_, (Mr. John J.) on cut-worm, 154
    --on minerals of Litchfield county, &c., 350.

  _Breccia_ of the Potomack, 216.

  _Brest_, experiments at, 174.

  _Bridge_, natural, 66, 319.

  _Brongniart_ on organized remains, 71
    --his address in Paris, 74.

  _Brown_, (Dr. Samuel) 147, 439.

  _Bruce_, (Dr.) 3, 37, 255, 299, 439.

  _Bufo_ cornuta, 265.

  _Burial_ ground of the Aborigines, 108.

  _Burrstone_ of Indiana, 132.


  _Cabinet_ of Col. Gibbs, 6
    --of B. D. Perkins and Dr. Bruce, 37.

  _Calendar_, floral, of United States, 76
    --near Philadelphia, 77
    --of Plainfield, 255
    --of Deerfield, 359.

  _Calorimotor_ of Prof. Hare, 413.

  _Calton_ hill, its structure, 230.

  _Carbonats_, hard, of lime, 63
    --of magnesia, pulverulent, at Hoboken, 54
    --crystallized, 142.

  _Cave_, Wier's, 59, 64, 317
    --in Mount Toby, 111
    --at Corydon, with Epsom salt, 133.

  _Caves_, in Tennessee, 429.

  _Chabasie_, at Deerfield, 49, 134.

  _Chalcedony_ in silicious wood, 57,
    at Deerfield and East Haven, 134.

  _Characters_ of minerals, 43-45.

  _Cinnabar_, in Michigan, 433.

  _Clays_, porcelain, 57, 58, 242.

  _Cleaveland_, (Prof.) Review of his mineralogy, 35
    --notice of, 308.

  _Coal_ mines of Virginia, 125
    --of Tennessee, 63
    --of Ohio, 239
    --of Connecticut, _ibid._ and 240.

  _College_, (Medical) of Ohio, 311.

  _Coluber_ trivittata, &c., 260-262.

  _Comstock_, (Dr.) 433.

  _Cooper_, (Prof. Thomas) 439.

  _Copal_, identity of, with amber, 307.

  _Copper-head_ snake, 84.

  _Copper_, native, 55.

  _Cornelius_, (Rev. Elias) 59, 214, 317.

  _Crotali_, 263.

  _Cumberland_ mountain, 221-223.

  _Cut-worm_, 154.

  _Cuvier's_ geology, 68.

  _Cylactis_, &c., 377.


  _Dana_, (Dr. J. F.) on electrical battery, 292
    --on Myrica cerifera, 293
    --on flame, 301.

  _Deerfield_, Floral Calendar of, 359.

  _Delirium_, intermissions of, 431.

  _Dewey_, (Prof. Chester) his sketch, &c., 337.

  _Diplocea_ barbata, 252.

  _Disruption_ of the ground at Deerfield, 286.

  _Distillation_ of seawater, 172.

  _Doolittle_, (Mr. Isaac) on gelatine, 170.

  _Drake_, (Dr. Daniel) and others, 206.

  _Dust_, atmospherical, 397.

  _Dwight_, (Dr. B. W.) on delirium, 431.


  _Earthquakes_ of 1811 and 1812, 93.

  _Eaton_, (Mr. Amos) on New-England geology, 69
    --on Southampton level, 136.

  _Elliott_ (Stephen, Esq.) 5.

  _Engine_, (Steam) its importance, 7.

  _Exoglossum_ (a freshwater fish) 155.


  _Falls_ in Connecticut river, 111.

  _Favosites_, 389.

  _Fish_, impressions of, 110.

  _Fisher_, (Prof.) his essay, &c., 9, 179.

  _Flame_, how affected by steam, &c., 401.

  _Flint_, 225.

  _Floral_ calendar of the United States, 76
    --Plainfield, 254
    --Deerfield, 359.

  _Floerkea_, genus, 373.

  _Fluor_ Spar, 49-52.


  _Galvanism_, Dr. Hare's discovery in, 413.

  _Gambold_, (Mrs.) on the Cherokee plants, 245.

  _Gas_, (Oxygen) respiration of, 95.

  _Gases_, (Inflammable) in Ohio, 49.

  _Guadaloupe_, minerals from, 237.

  _Gelatine_, how obtained from bones in Paris, 170.

  _Geological_ society, (American) 442.

  _Geology_ and mineralogy of Virginia, &c., 50, 317
    --New-England, index of, 59
    --Deerfield and vicinity, 107
    --Indiana, 131
    --Antigua, &c., 140
    --introduction to the study of, 50.

  _Gibbs_, (Col. George) on gunpowder, 87
    --on light and magnetism, 89, 207
    --on tourmalines, &c., 346.

  _Gill_, (Mr. Thomas) his new lamp, 207.

  _Gnaphalium_, new species of, 380.

  _Gneiss_, 339.

  _Gorham_, (Prof. John) elements of chemistry, 434.

  _Granite_, 237, 339, 437.

  _Grammer_, (Mr. John) on coal mines of Virginia, 125.

  _Graphite_, 237.

  _Grindstones_, 62.

  _Gunpowder_, its force, how increased, 87.

  _Gypsum_, 62, 211, 245.


  _Hard_ carbonate of lime, 63.

  _Hare_, (Dr. Robert) his blow-pipe, 97
    --on Woulfe's apparatus, 411
    --his calorimotor, 413
    --theoretical views, 434.

  _Harrodsburg_ salts, analysis of, 403.

  _Hayden_, (Dr. H. H.) on new minerals, 244, 306.

  _Heat_ and light, new mode of producing, 91.

  _Herpetology_, Thomas Say on, 256.

  _Hitchcock_, (Mr. Ed.) on Deerfield, &c., 105
    --disruption, 286
    --supplement, 426.

  _Hoboken_, carbonate of magnesia at, 54.

  _Hematite_, brown, 236.

  _Hornstones_, 62, 225.


  _Ice_, (Greenland) 101.

  _Indiana_, geology of, 131.

  _Insect_, destructive, 328.

  _Intelligence_, botanical, 435.

  _Iron_ ores, 50, 62, 438.

  _Ives_, (Prof. Eli) on limosella, 74
    --asclepias, 252
    --the potato, 297
    --gnaphalium, 380.


  _Java_, river and lake of sulphuric acid in, 58, 59.

  _Jameson_, (Prof.) his additions to Cuvier, 69.

  _Jasper_, 62, 236.

  _Journals_, scientific, 1-3
    --of vegetation, 76, 77, 255, 359.


  _Kain_, (Mr. John H.) on geology, &c., 60
    --mounds and caves, 428-430.


  _Lane_, (Ephraim) his mine, 316.

  _Lamp_ without flame, 207.

  _Lead_ ore, 53, 63
    --native, in Michigan, 434.

  _Light_, connexion between, and magnetism, 89, 207
    --and heat, new mode of producing, 91.

  _Lime_, augments the force of gunpowder, 87.

  _Limestone_, with shells, 61
    --carbonates of, 63, 131, 237, 241, 307, 341.

  _Limosella_, description of, 74.

  _Lithia_, a new alkali, 309.

  _Lithography_, art of, 439.

  _Localities_, (American) of minerals, 49.


  _Maclure_, (William, Esq.) his geological survey, 37
    --map, 61
    --on geology, 209.

  _Magnesia_, sulphat of, 49
    --carbonat, 49, 54, 236
    --of hydrate, 55.

  _Magnetic_, iron mine of, 89.

  _Magnetism_ and light, their connexion, 89.

  _Malachite_, compact, 236.

  _Manganese_, 50.

  _Marten_, new species of, 82.

  _Matches_ kindling without fire, 308.

  _Mercury_, fulminating explosion of, 168.

  _Metal_, new, 310.

  _Meteors_, theory of, 266.

  _Mica_, plumose, 50
    --of Porto Rico, 237
    --of slate, 339.

  _Mill_ stones, 62, 132.

  _Mineralogy_, elementary works on, 38.

  _Minerals_ of Deerfield, &c., 112
    --of Indiana, &c., 132
    --of Southampton level, 136
    --silicious, 224
    --localities, by Rev. Mr. Schaeffer, 237
    --American collections, of, 310.

  _Mineral_ springs, 66.

  _Mind_, human, its operations in a diseased state, 431.

  _Mitchill_, (Dr. S. L.) 37, 55
    --his edition of Cuvier, 68.

  _Molybdena_, 50, 238, 242.

  _Morey_, (Samuel) his fire apparatus, 91
    --steam engine, 162.

  _Mounds_, ancient, 322, 428.

  _Mountains_, Alleghany, 60.

  _Mustela_ vulpina, 82.

  _Myosurus_ Shortii, 379.

  _Myrica_ cerifera, analysis of, 294.


  _Native_ copper, near New-Haven, 55
    --sulphur of Java, 58

  _Natural_ Bridge, 66.

  _Necronite_, 306.

  _New_ England, its geology, 69.

  _Nitrate_ of lime and of potash, 65.

  _Nitre_, natural, 321.

  _Nomenclature_ of minerals, 45.

  _Nugent_, (Dr.) on Antigua, &c., 56, 141.


  _Ohio_, notes on, 207
    --its medical college, 311.

  _Opal_, semi, 225, 237.

  _Ophisaurus_ ventralis, 262.

  _Organized_ remains, Brongniart on, 71.

  _Oxygen_ gas, respiration of, 95.


  _Paint_, rock, 77.

  _Paris_, porcelain of, 56.

  _Paris_, (Dr. John Ayston) on sandstone, 234.

  _Passage_, northwest, 101.

  _Peat_ of Dutchess county, 139.

  _Peril_, (Mr Pelatiah) 85.

  _Perkins_, (Dr. Benjamin) 37.

  _Petroleum_, 49.

  _Phalæna_ devastator, 154.

  _Picture_ of Independence, 200.

  _Pierce_, (James, Esq.) on magnesia, 54, 142
    --on Staten-Island, 143.

  _Plants_ of Cherokee country, 245.

  _Plumbago_, 239.

  _Pole_, north, attempts to discover the, 101.

  _Pomeroy_, (T.) his certificate, 87.

  _Porcelain_ and porcelain clays, 57.

  _Porter_, (Dr. J.) on vegetation at Plainfield, 254.

  _Potato_, Prof. Ives on, 297.

  _Powders_, fulminating, 168.

  _Prairies_ and barrens of the west, 116, 331.

  _Prehnite_, 50, 135.

  _Pyrites_, magnetical, 49.

  _Pyroxene_, red, 244.


  _Quartz_, 53, 237, 238, 241, 340, 345.


  _Ray_ (solar) connexion with magnetism, 90.

  _Rafinesque_ (C. S., Esq.) on vegetation, 77
    --on mustela vulpina, 83
    --on copper-head, 84
    --on sponges, 149
    --on Xanthium maculatum, 151
    --Exoglossum, 155
    --on Diplocea barbata, 252
    --on discoveries in the West, 311
    --on genus Floerkea, 373
    --on Cylactis, &c., 377
    --on Myosurus shortii, 379
    --atmospheric dust, 397.

  _Rain_, red, 309.

  _Refraction_, (polar) effects on magnetism, 90.

  _Respiration_ of oxygen gas, 95.

  _Review_ of Cleaveland's Mineralogy, 35.

  _Reynolds_ (Dr. W. G.) on meteors, 266.

  _Ridge_, (Blue) its geology, 217.

  _River_, (White) in Java, 59
    --In a cave, 320.

  _Rock paint_, 67.

  _Rocks_, transition, of East Tennessee, 61
    --Of Indiana, 131
    --Secondary, 213.

  _Rottböllia_, 355.


  _Sandstone_, old red, 212
    --of the Capitol, Washington, 215
    --of Cornwall, England, 234.

  _Salt_, its effects on vegetation, 389-391
    --on animals, 394.

  _Salts_ of Harrodsburg, 403.

  _Say_ (Mr. Thomas) on Herpetology, 256
    --on zoophytes, &c., 381.

  _Schaeffer_, (Rev. F. C.) on peat, 139
    --localities, 236.

  _Sea-water_, (distilled) 172.

  _Seybert_, (Dr. Adam) 37.

  _Sienite_, 106.

  _Sheldon_ (Wm.) on tanning, &c., 312.

  _Silver_, (fulminating) accidents from, 169.

  _Sines and Cosines_, formulæ for, 424.

  _Slate_, argillaceous, 62, 67, 70, 342.

  _Smith_ (Professor E. D.) on earthquakes, &c., 93.

  _Soapstone_, 62.

  _Society_, (American Geological) 442.

  _Southampton level_, 137.

  _Spar_, (fluor) 49, 52.

  _Sponges_, on Long Island, 149.

  _Springs_, saline, 49
    --mineral, 66.

  _Steam_ decomposed, 92
    --engine, 93
    --rotatory of S. Morey, 162.

  _Stilbite_, 134.

  _Stilson_ (Mr. W. B.) on Indiana.

  _Storms_, salt, 388.

  _Strong's_ (Prof.) mathematical papers, 424.

  _Sullivan_ (John S., Esq.) on heat and light, 91
    --on steam engines, 157.

  _Sulphur_, (native) 237
    --springs in Indiana, 133.


  _Tabular view_, 46, 134.

  _Talc_, fibrous and scaly, 237.

  _Tanning_, by means of chesnut wood, 312
    --notice of a new mode of, 439.

  _Tar_, used to afford light, 92
    --to work steam engines, 164.

  _Tennessee_, (East) its Geology, &c., 60.

  _Temperament_, (Musical) essay on, 9, 176.

  _Thorax_, (affection of) relieved by oxygen gas, 95.

  _Titanium_, oxyde of, 50, 134, 355.

  _Tom_ (Mount) rests on sandstone, 109.

  _Torpedoes_ of fulminating silver, 169.

  _Torrey_, (Dr. John) on Staurotide, &c., 437.

  _Tourmaline_, 237.

  _Tourmalines_ of Goshen, &c., Col. Gibbs on, 346.

  _Trap_, what it is, 51
    --primitive and transition, 212.

  _Trumbull_, (Col.) his picture of Independence, 206.

  _Tungsten_ and Tellurium, American, 312, 316, 405.


  _Vapour_, effects of, on flame, 401.

  _Vauquelin_, a new alkali, 310.

  _Vegetables_, effects of their combustion, 334.

  _Vegetation_, Journals of, 76, 77, 256, 359.

  _View_, tabular, 46.

  _Virginia_, geology and mineralogy of, &c., 60.


  _Wacke_, of aqueous origin, 233
    --analysis of, 296.

  _Warm_ springs, 66.

  _Waterhouse_, (Dr. Benjamin) 37.

  _Webster_ (Dr. I. W.) on Calton Hill, 230
    --letter from, 243
    --on wacke, 296
    --his lectures, 304
    --cabinet, 305.

  _Wells_ (Mr. R. W.) on Prairies, &c., 331
    --of Columbia affected by earthquakes, 93.

  _Western_ Museum Society, 203.

  _Williams_, (Dr. Stephen) his calendar, &c., 359.

  _Williamstown_, its geology, &c., 337.

  _Winds_ of the West, 276.

  _Wood_, petrifactions of, 50-56
    --chesnut applied to tanning, 313.

  _Woolf's_ apparatus, substitute for, 410.

  _Works_ (elementary) on mineralogy, 38.


  _Xanthium_ maculatum, 151.


  _Zoology_, American, 5
    --fossil, 381.

  _Zoophytes_, &c., 381.


  Four illustrations have been moved from their book location to be
  close to the text describing them. One from page 289 to p293;
  another from p413 to p337; another from p414 to p423; another
  from p448 to p91.

  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text,
  and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained. For example,
  knifeblade, knife-blade; New England, New-England; carbonat, carbonate;
  musqueto; illy; chesnut; connexion.

  Pg 2, 'these scources' replaced by 'these sources'.
  Pg 13, 'arch AGN .. VA' replaced by 'arc AGN..VA'.
  Pg 14, 'Vth A´D´G' replaced by 'Vth A´D´G´'.
  Pg 39, 'sooner, in might' replaced by 'sooner, it might'.
  Pg 50, 'are two limited' replaced by 'are too limited'.
  Pg 51, 'importance usally' replaced by 'importance usually'.
  Pg 58, 'shall be acertained' replaced by 'shall be ascertained'.
  Pg 60, 'Geology of the the' replaced by 'Geology of the'.
  Pg 77, '20th of Ferbuary' replaced by '20th of February'.
  Pg 90, 'than elswhere;' replaced by 'than elsewhere;'.
  Pg 91, 'convenient mothod' replaced by 'convenient method'.
  Pg 94, 'heretofore peccolated' replaced by 'heretofore percolated'.
  Pg 104 Footnote [16], 'by inadventence' replaced by 'by inadvertence'.
  Pg 108, 'aud three feet' replaced by 'and three feet'.
  Pg 113, 'Some has' replaced by 'Some have'.
  Pg 133, 'tress; insects' replaced by 'trees; insects'.
  Pg 138, 'three huudred feet' replaced by 'three hundred feet'.
  Pg 147, 'quantitites of sandrock' replaced by 'quantities of sandrock'.
  Pg 149, 'is is not a proper' replaced by 'is not a proper'.
  Pg 158, Illustration caption, 'P. IV' replaced by 'Pl. IV'.
  Pg 171, 'much of the gelantine' replaced by 'much of the gelatine'.
  Pg 173, 'empyxeuma arising' replaced by 'empyreuma arising'.
  Pg 204, 'unknown to to all' replaced by 'unknown to all'.
  Pg 238, 'Honsatonuck River' replaced by 'Housatonick River'.
  Pg 247, 'Inis, low' replaced by 'Iris, low'.
  Pg 249, 'Yacca filamentosa' replaced by 'Yucca filamentosa'.
  Pg 257, 'eleven apicial' replaced by 'eleven apical'.
  Pg 261, 'the tripple series' replaced by 'the triple series'.
  Pg 269, 'situation of of the' replaced by 'situation of the'.
  Pg 285, 'my own observatiou' replaced by 'my own observation'.
  Pg 290, 'thrown purmiscuously' replaced by 'thrown promiscuously'.
  Pg 308, 'for sometime made' replaced by 'for some time made'.
  Pg 315, 'chrystallography of Haüy' replaced by 'crystallography
           of Haüy'.
  Pg 315, 'in cold weather.' replaced by 'in cold water.'.
  Pg 316, 'common iron pyrytes' replaced by 'common iron pyrites'.
  Pg 344, 'regular octaedrons' replaced by 'regular octahedrons'.
  Pg 345, 'Hill in Cattskill' replaced by 'Hill in Catskill'.
  Pg 346, 'The schorl cruciforn' replaced by 'The schorl cruciform'.
  Pg 359, 'Deerfield, Massachuchusetts,' replaced by 'Deerfield,
  Pg 363, 'Humingbirds arrived' replaced by 'Hummingbirds arrived'.
  Pg 367, 'American hazle' replaced by 'American hazel'.
  Pg 370, 'been unusully warm' replaced by 'been unusually warm'.
  Pg 371, 'and mullin' replaced by 'and mullein'.
  Pg 409, 'appear irreconcileable' replaced by 'appear irreconcilable'.
  Pg 415, 'inerposed agents' replaced by 'interposed agents'.
  Pg 416, 'corruscating flame' replaced by 'coruscating flame'.
  Pg 429, 'to many visiters' replaced by 'to many visitors'.

  'Diplocœa barbata, 282.' replaced by 'Diplocea barbata, 252.'.
  'Localites' replaced by 'Localities'.
  'Rafinesque', 'on Diplocœa barbata, 352' replaced by 'on Diplocea
                 barbata, 252'.
  'Slate', '70--342.' replaced by '70, 342.'.
  'Torrey' page number '437' added.

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